Interplant vegetable crops with with peas and beans. In late summerand early fall, thickly plant peas between crop rows or in open spaces. The best time for tilling legumes into the soil is before they bloom. Then, the plants are most leafy and richest in nitrogen.
Plants add nitrogen to the soil through a process caused nitrogen fixation. This process involves a partnership through legumes (like beans and peas) and a bacteria called Rhizobium that infects the plants. The bacteria takes nitrogen gas from the air and stores it in the plants roots in the soil, a very beneficial process for gardens.
There are some nitrogen fixing plants that can be used to improve soil quality. In many cases pasture legumes are used in orchards to provide a biological source for nitrogen fixation. Some specific plants that are used as nitrogen fixers are; Maku lotus, Amarillo peanut, clovers, alyssum, alfalfa, and pigeon pea.
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