I waited too late to order some bean innoculant and have already put my seeds in the ground with their cute little
leafy heads now sticking up. I got the innoculant...should I just sprinkle some on top of the beans and around the ground anyway?
Whether of not enough innoculent would get down to the roots is uncertain. I'm guessing not much.
I think you can save the innoculent for next year by placing it in an airtight container (ziplock bag) and storing it in the fridge.
For what it's worth, and I have less experience than Jim, my advice would be the opposite. I talked with a fellow at Johnny's Seeds today who said that though it's better to coat the seeds before planting, watering in the inoculant (i.e. dissolve in water and water the plants) would get the bacteria down to their roots, where it needs to be. He also said that inoculant, being living organisms, won't be good next season and should be stored in a cool place (less than 70Â° F) but not sealed tight, as the bacteria need air.
Looks like I guessed wrong on both questions. I would take the advice of the guy from Johnny's.
I guessed right then. I put the inoculant in water and watered the beans. I usually do it before planting, but didn't this year. We'll see...so far they are popping right up.
I'm in a similar situation and would really appreciate an update. Did the innoculant improve production when applied on top? Thanks
More to the point, does the use of inoculant (via _any_ means of application) produce a visible or measurable improvement? If beans do well after inoculant, would they have done just as well without it? Without some experimentation, we can never be sure one way or the other. Those of us here on GW represent a wealth of gardening knowledge & experience, and we really should resolve this question. The benefits of legume inoculants have been discussed several times, particularly in the thread below.
Here is a link that might be useful: Granulated bean inoculant
Thanks Zeedman. I did read that thread before posting. Sounds like most have been using inoculant in the garden already whereas I have not. I live in a new development which was wooded area before homes were built. I'm fairly sure there is no inoculant in the ground here. I've already planted beans w/o inoculant because I'm not convinced its needed but an answer to this question would really speed up my own garden research.
A little known fact about inoculant is it isn't needed every year. The bacteria stays in the soil. If you're on a 4 year rotation, the bacteria will still be there 4 years and 8 years from now when you plant again. This is a subject that comes up every now and again in my business with soybeans in field production.
The only real reason for inoculating is to get the stronger, more specific bacteria into a spot of ground the first year of production. The other three reasons are to keep the population up(a pretty shaky argument), because new stronger strains of bacteria are being developed constantly(I'm not sure how often they have a "breakthrough in bacteria technology!"), and it's pretty low-cost insurance.
Your beans will do fine, especially if you've grown beans in or near that location in the past..
Just my two-cents, didn't use innoculant last year but expanded my garden this year so I decided to try it. My crop was double last year in comparison. Who knows, maybe other variables in play? The stuff is not cheap and in my humble opinion not worthwhile.