The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Introduction to nitrogen-fixing

Everett commented on my mention of planting clover to say:
Bumblebee on white clover

You probably already know this, but just in case... Don't forget the inoculent (tried spelling it three different ways. I'm sure it's wrong but you get the point) for your clover. I tried some without it and they were patchy at best. Then I tried WITH inoculation and had a nice thick patch of clover. I guess it really makes a difference.

I don't know why inoculant is so hard to spell, but I struggle with it too and seem to have to look it up every few weeks.  Anyway, back to the point....

If you're not a gardener, you may not realize that nitrogen is usually the limiting ingredient in many plants' growth, and is thus one of the big three components of chemical fertilizers.  Organic gardeners often add nitrogen to the soil with compost or manure, but others take advantage of nitrogen-fixing bacteria to turn the copious nitrogen in the atmosphere into nitrogen their plants can use.  This week's lunchtime series will explore how this symbiosis can be worked to your advantage in the garden.

Check out our chick waterer, perfect for day-old chickens!

This post is part of our Nitrogen Fixing lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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One point about innoculants. These little beasties live in the soil, and innoculation is a waste of money if clover or beans have grown in the soil recently.
Comment by Errol Mon Feb 8 16:34:56 2010
Hey! No skipping ahead! That's Thursday's post. :-) (You're completely right.)
Comment by anna Mon Feb 8 17:32:17 2010

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