any experience grandulated bean inoculant?

lakedallasmary(8 - North Central TX)September 3, 2006

I am considering buying grandular bean inoculant. Anyone used it. Does it work ok for you?

Has anyone planted legumes without inoculant. What where the results? I guess I am asking does inoculant help much.

I have planted legumes this summer, but expanded my garden a bit. Will the bacteria be in the new part of the garden or do I need to inoculate it?

I want to plant the beans now for a fall crop but have not ordered the inoculant yet. I was going to just sprinkle the stuff on the soil when it arrives. Would that be good enough?

I have no clue about all this. I was wondering if the inoculant helps only at planting time or can it but used throughout the season?

I have always wondered if the hot air kills the bacteria on the coated seed before it is planted. I try to plant as soon as possible after coating the seeds, but they are still exposed to the air.

They always say to keep the soil mulched, since uncovered soil, kills the soil microbs. To me that would mean the inoculation powder would be killed when exposed to sun.

Any ideas or guesses I would be glad to hear it.

I am wondering if I will get any or many wax beans/limas to justify fall planting. I sure got zero this spring. The green beans all dryed up in the heat before producing, and the limas refused to sprout since I tried the infamous 3 sisters garden and I suspect too much shade to sprout. Black eyes peas produced about 1 dozen pods before 100+ weather set in and refused to set more. They have just started producing pods again, since we have had temps in the 80s. Do not like the black eyed peas. I wonder in the hot weather is affecting their taste. I have never eaten green black eyed peas before. I thought the they would be good since I like them dry.

I have bought other types to see if I like the flavor better. Some pink eye, purple hill, crowders, and a few creams.

texas weather, UG!

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gardenlad(6b KY)

First off, understand that the bacteria involved already are present in about 99% of the soil in America. So the use of inoculant should be unnecessary.

For most of my life I had never heard of the stuff. Then I couldn't afford it. Never had any problems growing peas or beans without it. Finally, one year I decided to give it a try. On a gut level, I didn't notice one whit of difference in productivity.

Note how I stress "on a gut level." I didn't do any measuring. There are people who use inoculant every year who claim increased yields. But of those I've asked, nobody has actually done a measured test. It's always a gut feeling, without even growing side-by-side comparisons let alone taking actual measurements.

So, overall, I'd say it's not particularly necessary most of the time. And it's never needed in a space you've already grown that kind of legume.

But, by the same token, it doesn't hurt anything to use it. So if you're comfortable with the idea, and don't mind spending the money, then using the innoculant won't harm anything.

BTW, there are two ways of using it. One is to coat the seed, as you descibe. The other is to merely sprinkle the powder into the soil where you're going to plant. Near as I can determine, neither method is better nor worse than the other.

FWIW, an alternative to buying inoculant is to merely move a couple of shovelsfull of soil from where you had planted to the new bed. That will assure the presence of the bacteria.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 7:31AM
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lakedallasmary(8 - North Central TX)

You know, that makes sence to me. Nature knows how to grow things with out our help at all.

I like your idea of scooping up some soil in a place that had beens to a new area. But as you say, probably not necessary.

I do wonder how the bean inoculant are made/grown by the folks that sell it and how it ever got popular to use it.

It does seem sort of silly to be self sufficient by saving seeds, then buy inoculant every year!

I looked up the chat room stuff. This is how I did it.
Got into google, then typed definition:fwiw
and google defines the stuff

So others won't have to look up the cryptic stuff

fwiw= for what its worth
btw = by the way

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 3:39PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Yes. It makes perfect sense. I came to that conclusion a while back. However, it makes me feel better to see it so eloquently explained by someone with bean growing credentials. Takes away any residual guilt about not using innoculent. :-)


    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 4:57PM
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feldon30(N Houston (8))

If you're going to use it, you take the dry beans, spritz them with a spray bottle full of water, then toss the beans in a bowl with the inoculant powder, and then plant soon after. No soaking!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 1:30PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

I just responded to this question on another thread in this forum. Personally, anyone who has read my posts knows that I am a big advocate of using inoculants for legumes; I think they improve plant vigor, yield, and resistance to disease & environmental stress. They allow the plant to overcome some soil deficiencies. BUT...

As Gardenlad has pointed out, any land that has been under cultivation for a substantial length of time probably has the bacteria already present. Where I might disagree is in whether or not they are present in sufficient numbers; if you carefully dig up a mature plant [preferably _after_ harvest ;-) ] and do not find nodules, you might want to use an inoculant for at least a year or two.

There have been many government studies that show increased yield with the use of inoculant during planting, but mostly for soybeans & forage legumes. Most of the evidence of improvement for garden crops is anecdotal (self included).

Gardenlad, you've lit a fire under me... but I'm not quite sure how to put it out. While I have space to run comparisons (I do some nearly every year) it would be in previously-treated soil; so it would only demonstrate the improvement caused by _annual_ use of inoculant, vice the residual population already present in the soil. Worth doing perhaps; but to have a proper "control", the experiment should be run in new ground... and I'm fresh out, for the present.

Maybe we should post this proposal under the "experiments" forum for next year (or even this year, for those in the far South). Preferably trials in several locations, with several different legumes. I _will_ run the annual-vice-residual test next year for several legumes (beans, soybeans, and cowpeas); I certainly wouldn't mind giving up that annual expenditure for inoculants if it proves unnecessary.

On another thread, someone asked when garden planning started... I think 2007 just got underway! (lol)

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 1:17AM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

Wish I had the space to go along with this, Zeedman. But I hope others participate. We could put the inoculant question to rest once and for all.

This is a case where anecdotal evidence just doesn't cut it. Doesn't matter if you get a great crop with innoculant if you don't know what would have happened without it. Or vice-versa.

I've just come off my third season of using permanent bean beds. Only thing I add to them is compost. It seems to be the best harvest in a long time. But that could be any combination of: growing conditions; varieties; misremembering. And it's quite possible (though I don't believe it) that if I had used inoculant there would have been an even better harvest.

I like the idea of such a test being spread out. It's quite possible that geography can influence the effects. The deep winters of the north, for instance, could negatively impact survival of the bacteria, while the milder winters of the south promotes their continued growth. Etc.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 6:09AM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

Just popped into my head, but, if we're going to enlist the aid of others it probably would make sense for the tests to be conducted with bush varieties.

Reason I say that is that it will be much easier for everyone to keep track. You grow a row with inoculant and a row in new or never inoculated land. Let the beans reach their first flush, harvest and weigh the production from each row.

Weight of usable biomass is the only viable comparison.

Weighing the production of pole types is much more difficult, and leaves too much room for artifact. Plus it would require a level of record keeping most people aren't interested in doing.

Unless they are willing to forego snap beans.

In that case, two equal rows could be planted. Let them both go unharvested until the beans are dry. Then harvest, shuck, and weigh the seed for a comparison of productivity.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 6:33AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

I will be testing for pole shellies (which are easily weighed), and dry-weight for cowpeas & soybeans. Peas & limas are two other possibilties, I would like to see as many legume species as possible involved in this test.

Gardenlad, your point about bacterial survival in the North is well taken. Since I began using inoculants, I have lived in Washington state, California, and now Wisconsin. Only here in the "frozen North" do I wonder if the bacteria can over-winter... which is why I inoculate every year. If they _do_ exist in most soils, the test will show little difference nation-wide; but if they perish in the colder climates, a nation-wide test should show differences based on latitude.

If that is the case, inoculants should prove to be more effective in the North, and less effective in the South & coastal maritime states. Something to watch for as this all unfolds.

>You grow a row with inoculant and a row in new or never inoculated land.For the test to meet scientific protocols, both the inoculated & control (non-inoculated) would have to be grown in the same type of soil, preferably both in new ground. Growing only one in new ground adds a new variable, and could invalidate the test. I broke ground on a new plot this spring, and almost all the vegetables (including the legumes) have performed poorly compared to their counterparts in established plots.

The two rows also should not be adjacent, since irrigation could spread the bacteria from the inoculated row to the control. The best way would be one long row, with the test plantings on the ends & a buffer crop (preferably a non-legume) in the center.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2006 at 3:02AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

By the way, this proposal has been posted on the "Garden Experiments" Forum, link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Legume Inoculant Experiment

    Bookmark   September 9, 2006 at 3:10AM
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I have been Keeping up with this thread. I have tried the inoculant. I couldn't tell if I got a greater yeald or not. The one thing it is good for is spring peas. It keeps them from rotting before they germanate. Most fall peas germanate so fast it dose not matter.
I am interested in the experiment. I plant a lot of peas and beans. This year I planted top pod, tenderetts, bluelakes,wax beans not sure what kind, limas, black eye peas romas, & burpees stringless all bush. And bluelake pole. Peas: sugar snap, sugar lace, sugar ann, & sugar sprint. Next year I am going to try a few new verieties. I still have a lot of unturned soil to work with. Just let me know what to do.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2006 at 10:21PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

We gardeners should be doing more of this sort of experiment. Most formal research relates to agriculture and doesn't always translate to the home garden. Besides, this is fun.

In other words, count me in...enthusiastically.

It's ironic and amusing that neither of the two main proponents of this experiment can participate because neither has a square inch of land where they haven't grown beans. LOL.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2006 at 1:07PM
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I going to add my 2cents and either show my ignorance or hopefully make a point.
All legumes have the ability to take in nitrogen from the air and store it in nodules in the roots. This is acomplished by a bacteria in the soil which has a symbiotic relationship with the legume. It is this bacteria which converts nitrogen absorded by the plant from the air and converts it into a stable solid form and a usable form in the roots of the plant making it availble to the legume for growth. This is an adaptation that legumes have evolved with due to their native enviroment and something that other plant species can not replicate. This is why beans peas etc can grow so well in poor soils. That is soil that lacks nitrogen. As Gardenlad mentioned most soils contain this bacteria and in varying amounts.The legumes are a widely dispersed plant group cover most of the temperate and tropical world.I will also note that there is different strains of this bacteria each having a different familiy host.For example, there is one for common beans and a different one for peas etc. the reason for the different bacteria is because of the origins of the host plant. Common beans and limas host a strain of bacteria indigenious to the Americas. Peas host a strain of bacteria indigenious to Asia etc. There is traces of the required bacteria present in the seeds of all legumes. Enough to colonize the plant and provide adequate nitrogen to support plant growth and moderate seed production in poor soils or soils lacking natural nitrogen sources. To increase yield in legumes the grower can 1)increase nitrogen availble to the plant either chemically or naturally or 2) increase the bacteria availble to the plant which in turn increase nitrogen avaiable to the plant. I don't know of any gardener who doesn't fertilize their garden either chemically of naturally or both so there is plenty of nitrogen availble to legumes to produce a good yield, any more and there will be too much plant growth at the expense of yield. Also increase vegetative growth means increased chance for disease growth due to less air circulation and more surface area for respiration requiring more water etc. This is why it is not neccessary to add a lot of nitrogen to legume crops. Having said all of this the use of innoculate will depend of the gardening habits of the gardener. If a chemical fertilizer which conatins nitrogen is added( 5-10-10, 10-10-10 sodium nitrate, calcium nitrate) or organic forms bloodmeal, cottonseed meal, manures etc? Then an innoculant is not needed.And as a note innoculant have nothing to do with seed germination only the ability of a plant to naturally afix its own nitrogen from the air. If there is no outside forms of nitrogen added to the soil than without the innoculant the legumes will perform as nature designed. In this case with only the nitrogen afixed by the legume to boost yield addition of an innoculant will increase availble bacteria which will increase nitrogen afixed from the atmosphere therfore increase yield. The most widely use of innoculants is in commercial farming to increase soybean yields at a cost savings to the farmer, since buying preinnoculted seed means not having to have labor, gas and fertizer cost to side dress plants at time of flower when nitrogen is needed most. Again in forage crops the quality of alfalfa, clovers etc is increased at great savings on labor, gas and chemical nitrogen costs. and it takes the guess work out of growing for the farmer and leaves it up to mother nature. Good for the farmer good for the enviroment. Final point to make. When would it be economical for the gardener to innoculate? IF the gardener is interested in improving the soil by adding organic matter. which increases all good soil bacterial growth needed for all plants to grow and adding a free source of slow release nitrogen to support all types of plant growth. I would recommend adding an innoculate. This would be an innoculant to a winter cover crop such as clover which will hinder winter weed growth prevent erosion of bare soils and in the spring at the time of flower turn under the cover crop which is now used as a green manure. By turning under at the start of bloom and with the addition of an innoculant. the clover is at it's peak in stored nitrogen. This will add the max beneficial organic material to the soil and slow release nitrogen to support all low to medium feeding plants for the summer growing season.For a summer cover crop and green manure an innoculant for field peas or alfalfa and turning under this crop again at the onset of bloom for maximum effect. If the peas, beans, clover or any legumes is allow to mature seed most of the excess nitrogen will be used by the plant to form seeds. and therefore will only contribute small amounts of nitrogen back to the soil when the crop is tilled under. But this is still something that no other plant can do. That is add nitrogen to the soil. To summerize I see no point economically or otherwise to innoculate any garden legume. I do see a reason to plant a legume cover crop and innoculate this cover crop and then till under forming a green manure to improve soil structure and add slow release nitogen to the soil. Rodger

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 4:53AM
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I sure hope nobody out there is grading me on spelling or grammar. I quess I need to stop writing at night while I'm suppose to be working. Rodger

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 6:29AM
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Wow That shows how much I know. I think we try things and they seem to work and then we stick by them not knowing the true facts.
I for one will admit that the thought of inoculant gives peace of mind in thinking you have done all that you could do to have the best crop you can have.
Understanding gives a whole new outlook on things. Most of what I think I know is through experiences that I have had over the years, next lots of reading.
After having a bad experience with my peas having slow or no germination and then trying the inoculant and having good germination. I assumed that was the answer when it could have been another reason all together.
Of course I will still try my own little experiment next spring. Because thats what gardeners do. But what you said make good sense to me.

Oh. I can always go back right after I submit a posting and find spelling and other mistakes. I don't have a good excuse other then being a bit anxiouse or in a hurry. But as long as I get my point across I guess its ok.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 12:23PM
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lakedallasmary(8 - North Central TX)

Thanks for all the great info. I won't be doing the experiment, but I will be digging up the plants after harvest to see if nodules have formed. I will take pictures and post. I have a batch of beans not inoculated and one inocculated, only because the grandulated inoculant had not arrived yet and I was impatient. Will be fun to see if there is a difference. My little test will not be perfect since not enough space between the beans.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 4:53PM
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Very well said!!! I only use inoculant on my fall beens. I live about 40 mi. south of Dallas and am really amazed at how few people in my area don't plant a fall/winter cover crops... BUT...That's another thread... on another form...


    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 12:10AM
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So what happened? What is the current status of this great expirement?

Here is a link that might be useful: Long Cold Winter

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 12:16AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

It was indeed time to revive this thread... GreenGenes, you beat me to it. (By the way, I once went by that same user name on another site.) Interesting that you joined GW just to post that comment.

For me, the planning has begun. I still need to wait for much seed to arrive before the 2007 garden plan is set in stone, and the planting itself is months away. But the inoculant test will be one of several experiments planned for this year.

Yes, Jimster, I will be a participant! Do you think wild horses could drag me away from this one?? I think not... ;-) Gardenlad, you must have _some_ lawn left to dig up? (lol)

Of course, for the reasons stated earlier in the thread, my own experiment may not be completely conclusive, since I have used inoculants previously (and heavily) in my present garden sites. I still intend to try representatives of several legume species both with- and without- inoculant. Crops grown for dry seed will be used for the evaluation... and since roughly 50% of my garden is seed crops grown for preservation, this will not be difficult.

But since the original premise of the experiment was to determine if the use of inoculant increases yield, any increase observed in my plots would be a strong "yes". It would confirm that there is a benefit to the _annual_ use of inoculant, regardless of previous use... at least for my location. However, if there is no difference in my garden, it would not be conclusive evidence of ineffectiveness; only a test conducted on ground previously untreated could provide such proof.

The final weight of dry seed (or green-shelled beans, peas, soybeans, or limas) should be the means used for comparison. The use of snap beans (or similar immature pods) would introduce too many variables, and would be difficult to track accurately over time.

I will not reveal the source of my inoculant until after the experiment has concluded, since the industry may have caught wind of this... and if Gardenlad proves to be right in his assumptions, they have something to lose. To any gardeners that participate, be sure to record the brand of inoculant used. There are several (both pellet & powder) and hopefully they will all be represented. I may send out samples of inoculant to those without local sources... but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. First, we need more participants!

Hopefully, other gardeners will join in; the more locations & soil types represented, the better. No nibbles on the "Experiments" forum, so perhaps this thread is the proper starting point. Any one else out there interested?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 6:14PM
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veggiecanner(Id 5/6)

They want $5 a pk for the stuff here. Is it good for more than one year?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 6:20PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

>"Is it good for more than one year?"Perhaps; but at room temperature, probably not. It is, after all, a live culture. But then seeds can be frozen, and their viability will be extended significantly... so it is not unlikely that microorganisms could be likewise preserved, if they were in a sealed air-tight container. Perhaps a good experiment for next year? Given that inoculants are often packaged in greater quantities than are needed (except by a legumaniac), it would certainly be more economical if the excess could be frozen for next year's use.

I know that _this_ year, I will be testing that theory with B.T. insecticide. Last summer, I purchased 2 bottles of B.T.; one I sprayed on my corn, the other I froze. In my area, if corn is untreated, it will be infested with earworms & borers; so if the B.T. is dead, it could be an ugly harvest. On second thought, maybe I'll only experiment on half of the corn... and post the results in their own thread.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 10:53PM
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Count me in. I just moved here (SW Michigan) last summer. We will be tilling a 50' x 100' area that was first weeds/hay, then grass for a couple of years after we started mowing (it took us 4 years to work on the house before we could move in). Should have tilled in the fall, but didn't think of it. As I have some empty space in my proposed garden area, I have room to use inoculant on 1/2 my peas and 1/2 my bush beans. Please note that at one time, this area was actual farmland, but that was about 60-80 years ago.

Sorry, but I am not going to weigh dried beans/peas. However, I could weigh fresh-picked produce, keeping track of weights with both uninoculated and inoculated.

Besides what's been posted on this thread already, please let me know any other suggestions you may have. I look forward to this experiment.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 10:04AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Since the Experiments forum seems to get few responses, I will be posting updates on this thread. Us "beanies" tend to be more active... must be the beans. ;-)

These are the legumes that I am evaluating this year, both with- and without inoculant:

Bean, "True Red Cranberry" (Phaseolus vulgaris)
Bean, Scarlet Runner (Phaseolus coccineus)
Cowpea, "CES-18-6 (paayap)" (Vigna unguiculata)
Garbanzo, "Brown Popping" (Cicer arietinum)
Green gram (Vigna radiata)

Soybeans were also planned as part of the experiment, but rabbits decimated the planting... I may still evaluate them on a yield-per-plant basis. All others are now growing vigorously, with equal numbers of both test & control.

For the inoculated plantings, no pre-treatment was used. Seeds were planted in the furrows, and liberal quantities of inoculant were sprinkled over them prior to burying. Some were planted in one long row (separated by another crop), others were planted in separate (but non-adjacent) rows of equal length.

All the legumes chosen are being grown for their dry seed, which will be weighed at the conclusion of the season. Comparative observations of relative vigor, reactions to stress, and any disease problems, will also be recorded.

If there are others participating in this experiment, could you log in with your progress?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 2:26PM
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So, what are the results of the experiment?
Please report.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2007 at 1:28AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

I'm not sure if anyone else participated; there has been very little feedback. Somewhat disappointing, because I felt that we as a garden community had the opportunity to put this issue to rest. Sadly, there does not seem to be much interest... my faith in GW as a means for change is somewhat shaken.

My own results were far from conclusive, mainly due to other factors influencing the results.

Soybeans - Rabbits ate about 1/3 of my test row, leaving the control row untouched. The plants were still in the seedling stage, so it is unlikely that the rabbits detected a difference... the test row just happened to be the outer row. This made a precise comparison impossible. However, I observed very little difference in yield between inoculated & un-inoculated plants. The garden in which they were grown was land that had been farmed (including soybeans), and I had used inoculant previously, so there may have been sufficient bacteria already present in the soil.

Green gram - Both the inoculated & control plantings were large, so I had high hopes. Unfortunately, just as the pods were beginning to mature, wilt began killing the plants. I always lose a few each year... but this year the Asian ladybugs were no-shows, the aphid population was much higher than normal, and they spread the wilt quickly. I lost nearly 50% of my plants, so had to scratch this one from the experiment.

Garbanzo - Another one I had high hopes for, since I had never used that inoculant, and garbanzos are not grown in my location. A "midwest monsoon" (over 10 days of rain in late Summer) destroyed much of the seed just as it was ripening... perhaps the reason that they are not grown here? Although I was able to get some dry seed, over 50% of the crop was lost to rot. There was no observable difference in yield or vigor, treated or untreated, after the rains had passed.

"True Red Cranberry" and Scarlet Runner - There were some mixups with record keeping; my working hours had changed, and I was forced to rely on others. My spouse, bless her heart, harvested all of the seed - but did not label it, which invalidated the experiment. I did, however, compare the daily harvest on several occasions, and found only minor differences.

Only for one species was there a definite difference - Vigna sesquipedalis, cowpeas & yardlongs.

The overall harvest data for the cowpea "CES-18-6" could not be used, for the same labeling problem mentioned above. However, I made visual observations, and compared the daily harvest on several occasions. The pods from the inoculated row were longer & better filled, and there were more of them. By weight, there was a 15-20% improvement on the treated row, versus the control.

There were two other interesting observations.

Because I was concerned about the possibility of rain spreading the inoculant, the two rows of cowpeas were at a right angle to each other; where they met at the corner, they were separated by 3 feet. The first two plants in the control row, closest to the treated row, were noticeably more vigorous. This is not that unusual in rows, it is called the "end effect". But the difference was quite pronounced, and was not repeated at the other end.

The other observation involved my yardlongs, which were not actually part of the experiment (or so I thought). I normally start my yardlongs as transplants, in a mixture of sand & inoculant. I get outstanding germination with this method, and they have always done well. This year, however, because of the experiment, I added no inoculant to the pots of any of my legume transplants, opting instead to apply it to the hole at the time of transplanting.

Regardless of whatever other yardlongs I might be trialing, I always grow "Chinese Red Noodle" and a black-seeded variety obtained from a friend. I have grown the black-seeded variety for over 10 years, and have observed its performance under a wide range of conditions. This year, for the first time, they languished; growth was slow, and many had pronounced chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves. Only late in the season did they begin to bear, 3-4 weeks later than normal. Digging up the plants after the frost, I found poor nodulation compared to years past.

For the past 3 years, I have been digging up some of my legumes to examine the nodules - usually after frost, but occasionally a mature plant, if it can be spared. Yardlongs have the largest & most numerous nodules... so it may be that they are more responsive to inoculant than other species.

So while the experiment was far less conclusive than I had hoped for, there was a lesson learned. Keep in mind, I had previously used all of the inoculants involved in my garden, with the exception of the garbanzo... so I was testing not for the effectiveness of inoculants, but for the effectiveness of _annual_ application.

Based upon my observations, it does not appear that annual application for beans (common & scarlet runner) provides a significant increase in yield. The same could be said for soybeans, although I intend to repeat that experiment next year. Garbanzos were inconclusive, as were green grams (which I will also repeat next year). But cowpeas & yardlongs had a noticeable improvement, or demonstrated reduced vigor without inoculant... so for them, I would strongly recommend annual application directly to the seed.

I would still recommend the use of inoculants on new ground, or when growing a particular legume for the first time.

I will repeat the experiment next year, with beans, limas, soybeans, peas, green gram, and perhaps with adzuki. It is my hope that more GW members will participate, so we can get a wider view of how inoculants perform in different regions, or with different methods.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 12:43PM
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This thread was so informative that I thought it deserved to be revived. Maybe it'll save much thread-searching for someone else. I had always purchased from mail order until this year, and I couldn't figure out why not one nursery/seed supplier locally, (not even IFA!) knew about an inoculant for the pea seeds they sell.

Thanks for the question lakedallasmary, and to rodger and zeeman for sharing your knowledge. Much appreciated.

Crystal... Still living in the PsittacineJungle

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 1:37PM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

Remember to check if the inoculant you buy works on the species of legume you are planting. For some reason, the correct organism for soybeans seems to be left out of mixed inoculants, making it necessary to buy commercial soybean inoculant. I usually get the more concentrated powdered inoculant (even a pack meant to treate 50 lbs of seed is pretty cheap) and mix it into potting soil I use to prevent soil crusting over the seeds (or to start seeds indoors). I have gotten good nodule formation on garden beans.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 1:36PM
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I am new here...from Kenya, the land of all famous runners and lately the Obama craze! [lol]

I am currently working on a project that will entailed trials for inoculant on various types of legumes and will be glad to share the information once it is out...but one thing I will let all forum members know is that just as Zeedman said..because of the fact that these bacteria are not indigenous to our soils, there is need to introduce then so as to boost the ability of the legume to absorb nitrogen. Furthermore the use of fertilizers mostly phosphate based, are basically to improve on root development which in the end will help in absorption of Nitrogen,therefore the use of the inoculant will help out the legume in that in root growth, at the end development....then growth and subsequent yield.

Inoculant not only does the above to the legume, but also cuts down on the cost of fertilizer use. In this age and era where we are moving to eating healthy and organic food...I think this is the way to go!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 8:12AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Nekesah, good to see you here. Will your experiment take place in Kenya, or in some other country? I hope you are able to procure the appropriate inoculants for the legumes being tested. We look forward to your results.

My own experiment was to have continued this year, as mentioned above... but record Spring flooding forced me to cancel those plans. I still intend to repeat the experiment, this time within a rabbit-proof enclosure, and with more attention to keeping accurate records.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 12:15AM
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Inoculant help all legumes between the time of germination till they are ready to produce the Nitrogen nodules absorbed from the Nitrogen from the air. This takes some time.They will survive without Nitrogen fed from inoculants but the growth will not be vigorous as Zeedman has pointed out.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 3:47PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

The link below is to an abstract, not the entire article, however it contains some information of interest.


Here is a link that might be useful: Quality of Inoculent

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 6:02PM
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As it is, I am preparing for the green-house trials.

The trials are being done in Kenya and will take place in different regions. We also plan to go regional.

The results so far from other trials have been very positive, especially with beans.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 6:28AM
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Hi, does anyone have any seeds for "Top Pod"?? I'm really trying hard to find this variety, but i can't find it. help.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 12:44AM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

Lindenberg Seeds in Canada sells Top Pod. You'll need a Canadian friend to order them for you, because they don't ship to the U.S. If you call them, they might be able to tell you of a U.S. distributor.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 8:38PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

Back to the topic -- thanks for all the useful information on inoculants! They seem to have given a big boost to my fava beans this year. Looking forward to hearing more field results.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 8:40PM
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