Inoculating seeds with nitrogen-fixing bacteria is an easy and economical way to increase the yield and overall health of legumes:
All beans (bush, pole, broad, soy etc.), all garden peas (snap, snow, shelling etc.) including sweet peas; also lentils, and even peanuts.
These naturally occurring Rhizobium bacteria form nodules in the roots of their host plants where they gather nitrogen gas from the air. Transforming atmospheric nitrogen into solid compounds, the symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria then provide this valuable protein building block to the plants in a mutually beneficial relationship.
Interestingly, some common herbs, shrubs and trees are also known to partner with nitrogen-fixing bacteria in soil.
These include clover, vetch, alfalfa, and lupins, all of which are often used as "green manure" cover crops; and pioneer species such as broom (Cytisus), alder (Alnus), buffaloberry (Shepherdia), sea buckthorn (Hippophae), silverberry (Elaeagnus), Caragana, and Ceanothus.
Their ecological role is to improve overall soil fertility in young developing ecosystems. Usually people call these plants "nitrogen-fixing plants" even though technically it is the bacteria who do the job.
It amazes me time and again how all the food on our table ultimately comes down to the nitrogen cycle and this partnership of plants and bacteria, with their unique abilities to respectively capture carbon and nitrogen gas from thin air, and then trading and turning these elements into carbohydrates and proteins - so that all creatures may have food to eat.
Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria Application
This product comes as a dark powder on a fine peat carrier.
Just prior to planting, place your legume seeds in a container and sprinkle with a small amount of water. Add the inoculant and shake or stir until all seeds are thoroughly coated. Plant as usual.
One 42g pouch treats up to 5 pounds (2.3kg) of seed. For small amounts of seed, use proportionally less product. Store leftover nitrogen-fixing bacteria in a cool place away from direct sunlight, with the bag closed tightly. It will work best if used before the date printed at the top of the bag.