Soil inoculant question....

eaglesgarden(6b - se PA)February 17, 2009

I will be using inoculant for the first time ever, in an effort to produce a much higher nitrogen fixing than in previous years, so that my corn and squash will produce at an even higher level. My question is this:

What is the best method (most effective) of application?

The container says to merely shake it in to the growing row when planting. But, I'd heard about "coating" the beans/peas in the inoculant before planting. Which is better?

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I think the best method is to coat the seed rather than the soil. It better targets the innoculant. The inoculant is very sensitive to light and drying out. So once the seed are coated they need to be immediately planted then watered in. It is hard to say how much liquid to use to dampen the seed so the innoculant will stick. I us a little sugar water the stickyness of the sugar helps adhere the innoculant. You can also use a little coke or some carbonated beverage. I innoculate crimson clover as a cover crop and use one cup of sugar water to 50lbs of seed. The idea is to barely moisten only enough to get the black powder to stick without clumping. I would first add the innoculant to the seed in a sealable container. Add a small amt of liquid then shake. Immediately plant. Rodger

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 12:53PM
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eaglesgarden(6b - se PA)

Thanks, Rodger!

Any others?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 5:13PM
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I am planning to use inoculant this year also. Anyone have some advice as to what brand to purchase?? OR what brand NOT to?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 9:45AM
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eaglesgarden(6b - se PA)

I bought Nature's Aid. I saw it at Garden's Alive!, but they listed it for $12.95 for 8.7 oz. I checked Gurney's and they had the same thing for $9.95. Since I had a coupon (spend $50 or more and get $25 off the total) from Gurney's I got it from them. I bought it on Monday, and it is due to arrive (just checked UPS-tracking) today. BTW, this was basic shipping - I don't believe in paying extra to have it two days earlier!

DISCLAIMER: I have no affiliation to either company!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 8:02AM
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As far as what brand it doesn't matter. As far as how it is made is what does matter, to me at least. As a certified organic grower I can only use real rhizo bacteria and not a synthetic made one. This would be the cost difference between the two. Gardens alive I have never ordered from but I would think they are selling the natural bacteria where as gurneys I would almost with 100% certainty say theirs is synthetic. So it is a personal choice whether you want the real deal or a test tube version. Rodger

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 3:18PM
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I did a check and the natures aid is 100% organic so it is real. Gurneys 9.95 gardens alive 12.95 but planetnatural 8.95. This particular product is granulated and it specifies sprinkling over the seeds in the ground. Reimer seeds sells the same brand (natures aid) but in the normal powder form for 5.95 and one bag treats 8lb of seed. The extra cost is for convience of shaking a can of granules vice using the method I described above and damping the seed then coating wih the innoculate. Eaglesgarden since you bought the granular formula you need to apply as it directs by placing seed in hole then shaking on innoculant then cover and water in. Rodger

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 3:38PM
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eaglesgarden(6b - se PA)

Great answer Rodger!

That explains why the difference. I appreciate it, I will follow the instructions on the can. (I wish I had known about the other kind before I made my purchase!) Oh well, there is always next year!

BTW, is it necessary (or more beneficial) to use it every year, or is it a once applied thing, the bacteria will be present year to year? I succession/companion plant, but do not have the space to do a true crop rotation. (sun is an issue more than space)

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 10:50AM
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alicemagooey(z5 ON,CA)

Help! i just got a little plastic bag of innoculant from a local garden center.. i did not know that there was more than one kind.. i just gave it to a friend. when she asked me how to use it i said to coat a wet seed and then plant.
I looked briefly at the bag and it said only ( as i recall) to assist in germination of pea and bean seeds.

should i do a hustle to try and figure out what kind of innoculant it is as to whether it is put in the soil or on the bean..?

or am i safe and is my friend good to go.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 2:49PM
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alicemagooey(z5 ON,CA)

Hi again,.. i think i am ok in that the little plastic bag had a black powder in it and not granules.

that almost certainly would be treated like the one dear Rodger wrote the instructions to
"sugarwater coat the seeds and cover with innoculant" then plant, correct.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 2:56PM
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