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Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by JABECmfg, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. JABECmfg

    JABECmfg multi-useless Site Supporter

    I'm looking to add Rhizobium to my garden soil this year, but I'm having a hard time finding it.

    From Wikipedia: Rhizobium - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Has anyone here used it before, and if so, where did you get it from?
  2. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    I use horse poo.... never hear of this stuff.
  3. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Edit: Rhizobium inoculant is mixed with the seed prior to sowing, not added to the soil as a conditioner or amendment.

    Rhizobium is a legume inoculant to help crops such as peas, beans and related varieties to fix nitrogen more efficiently. It is not a fertiliser and will have no advantage for non leguminous plant varieties. Some inoculants are very specific to particular plant varieties. You should be able to buy inoculants from seed supply companies or your local seed supplier. Some seed may be pre-inoculated...read the product information to confirm whether that is so.

    The following are random links sourced via Google. I have no knowledge of their operations and make no endorsements of their value as sources of inoculant....it is up to individuals to do their own due diligence when enquiring further on the matter.


    Inoculants - Johnny's Selected Seeds
    Brokor and JABECmfg like this.
  4. JABECmfg

    JABECmfg multi-useless Site Supporter

    I saw that when I started looking - but I'm following the advice of a guy whose opinion I trust. He's been doing this for quite a while and has made a successful career in the agricultural industry, and he knows my level of gardening experience and what I'm trying to do, so I'm inclined to take his advice.

    I saw that too... at first glance, it looked like most of what is readily available is for soybeans specifically. I guess I could grow soybeans if I really wanted to, but I'm not quite ready to give up my day job for farming just yet and I'd hate to try to make a meal (or even a side dish) out of soybeans... But green beans and peas are good garden crops, so I figure that just mixing it in per my buddy's advice (and planting lots of legumes, of course) would be good. I could bug him about it if necessary, but he's a pretty busy guy so I hate to waste his time on it. I can also call the local state university agricultural extension if necessary, as they do a lot in the way of helping people grow better gardens. But, it seemed like a good question for the monkey tree, so I came here with it first.

    Good links though, thanks!
    chelloveck likes this.
  5. JABECmfg

    JABECmfg multi-useless Site Supporter

    Update - I ended up buying a small packet of the stuff from a local nursery and used the recommended "slurry" method, where I added a little water and sloshed the seeds around in it immediately prior to planting. Not sure how much of my success should be attributed to the rhizobium, but the 2 varieties of peas that I planted (1 snap, 1 shell) are doing GREAT! Not so much luck with the bush beans, but the peas, holy crap... We picked and ate a few last Thursday, and when we went back out the next day, they'd replenished and then some overnight. Every day when we went back out to the garden, we could see the progress. My kiddo and I ate fresh peas right off the plants all weekend long, and even though we only planted 2 rows, 8 feet long each, they're producing as many as we can eat.

    Since I'm no master gardener, and had pretty weak luck with peas last year, I have to think the rhizobium really helped. I'll try to get some pics posted later...
    chelloveck and BTPost like this.
  6. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus


    Here's an experiment for you...the rhizobium inhabit the root system of legumes as small white nodules....when you pull the plants, cut the roots off those with a good supply of nodules and chop them up in a blender with enough water and a little flour to make a thin paste. Mix in some of your seeds and then plant; (a small experimental plot perhaps). It would be interesting to see whether you could harvest your own rhizobium instead of buying it from the nursery. Use the roots of healthy plants only...discard any that appear diseased.

    I have not done this myself, but I am curious whether it would be effective. It would be like having a living sour dough starter to keep replicating the process.
    Sapper John and JABECmfg like this.
  7. JABECmfg

    JABECmfg multi-useless Site Supporter

    Cost effective AND sustainable - I love it! [winkthumb]

    I had figured that I would probably do a fall crop as well, and we will be adding a couple more raised beds this summer (already have the lumber, just need to bang them together and add dirt) so I should have plenty of room to compare 2 crops. It's my understanding that the rhizobium bacteria will survive in the soil for a short while on its own, but I'm not sure for how long or to what extent (or if I'm correct about that, for that matter) so I'm thinking one plot using the same stuff I used this spring, in the same raised bed, and one plot using the harvested stuff in a new bed.

    Brilliant idea chello, I'm going to try to make time to try this!
    chelloveck and kellory like this.
  8. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    A couple of crops from the same bed would probably be ok...but it's good to rotate beds and crops to deter a build-up of pests and diseases. The rhizobium should survive for a while...but the relationship with legumes is a symbiotic one...the rhizobium converts nitrogen from the air into a soluble form that the plants can uptake...my guess is that the plant produces the sugars for the symbiote that the rhizobium can't manufacture itself efficiently enough I suppose. If the DIY rhizobium inoculant works ok, then crop rotation would be much easier.
    JABECmfg likes this.
  9. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Mmmmm, proteobacteria.
    JABECmfg and chelloveck like this.
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