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Cheap&Easy Nitrogen Fixing Perennials.

 
gardener
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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I want nitrogen fixing perennials that are cheap & easy to find.
So far I have found goumi berries,locally available,lots of seeds per dried berry,so even low rates of germination are acceptable.
Bulbs,tubers,slips,starts,seeds anything is good as long as it is cheap,easy to come by,perennials,and nitrogen fixing.
That's all I'm asking for!!!
😂
 
Posts: 282
Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
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Don't forget clover.  Just about every hardware store with a lawn section will have it.  Not terrible expensive, although they market for a non ag client.  Much cheaper at the feed store on online.

Rye grass, vetch, sunn hemp.  There are a lot of nitrogen fixer that can be done from seed.  
 
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Black Locust is great if you have room for them.
 
William Bronson
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Clover is hard to come by around here,as most people seem to think it is a lawn weed!
I have found it and tried to establish it  in my shady backyard but the existing "weeds"jump back up and smother it.

My other lot is a tiny orchard/food forest. I have been succesfull eliminating the existing grass in favor of wood chips and autumn leaves.
Now I want to add desirable plants back in.
My free mimosa volunteers do not like to be transplanted, so I am looking for cheap substitutes.
Will the plants you mentioned grow in woodchips?
 
William Bronson
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Akiva I have tried to grow black locust from seeds,nothing fancy,just threw them in the hole with other plantings.
It didn't work but thanks for reminding me!
I will try again with some scarification or soaking, or whatever research indicates is appropriate.
 
pollinator
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Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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Autumn Olive
 
gardener & author
Posts: 1678
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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Here in Ladakh, alfalfa and melilot ("sweetclover") are the common nitrogen-fixing perennial fodder plants, but I think they like arid climates like this, and in Ohio you'd do better with plants adapted to your kind of climate, like clover. Though you said you tried clover and it didn't take, maybe due to shade. you could always try again.

Russian olive and autumn olive are nitrogen-fixing small trees, but in Ohio they are probably very vigorous and sometimes invasive, and you might not be able to contain them.

I think Black locust is perfectly adapted to your climate, though. I had some germination after just soaking seeds overnight till they swelled up. I've seen people mention scarifying by curling a piece of sandpaper facing inward in a jar and shaking the tough seeds vigorously in it to gently damage the seed coat. You could try that. or I've seen mention of soaking black locust seeds in water that is initially very hot -- that gives me the heebie-jeebies, with a living thing like a seed, but I've seen it recommended more than once.
 
Todd Parr
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You can also get honey locust trees that don't have the thorns.
 
master pollinator
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Rebecca Norman wrote: I've seen mention of soaking black locust seeds in water that is initially very hot -- that gives me the heebie-jeebies, with a living thing like a seed, but I've seen it recommended more than once.



This actually works for some very hard seeds - pour nearly boiling water on them and soak overnight.  I've started Honey Locust this way.



 
William Bronson
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Thanks for the great responses.
I think if I send away for seeds it will be for bundle flower(prairie mimosa).
They offer great protein,and would seem to be a excellent chicken feed.
Autumn olive has mixed reviews concerning taste,and I probably don't need another fruit as much as I need a protein source.
Both would be best of course,and I doubt they could be more invasive than honeysuckle...right?
The nearby black locust trees are thornless,so hopefully they grow true to type.
I like to check the PFAF website for germination technique.Honeylocust is said to have a questionable nitrogen sharing record,so I won't seek it out, but if I happen upon it, I will add it to I see them as a great source for charcoal making.
I WILL have a bread oven onsite, and I hope to include charcoal making in the process. We have already started willow for charcoal making,but it's weeping willow,so I am not sure it will grow fast enough.

Concerning clover and other small plants, I do have some grassy places that are being smothered via used carpet, I think I might be successful in sowing into those bits after the carpet is removed.
But, I still want to know, is sowing into woodchips a viable strategy?
 
Jack Edmondson
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Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
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[quote=William Bronson]
Concerning clover and other small plants, I do have some grassy places that are being smothered via used carpet, I think I might be successful in sowing into those bits after the carpet is removed.
But, I still want to know, is sowing into woodchips a viable strategy?
[/quote]

I don't think it will.  Clover, being a short stemmed plant, will likely not be able to get above the woodchips; and will not receive enough sunlight.  The chips would have to be 2 inches or less(?) for this to work.  Just a guess.
 
William Bronson
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Thanks for allege replies.
Bought some goumi berries to try for taste and to germinate.
Distracted by building a coop/house for a chicken rescue...
 
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