Nitrogen Fixation

Vera_EWASH(z5 EasternWA)March 19, 2005


I saw this link posted on the Veg. Forum.

So do you think it's true that the N isn't available to other plants until the legume dies? This study suggests just that!

Since the URL link option is missing from the post a message deal you'll need to cut and paste...



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Vera_EWASH(z5 EasternWA)

No opinions? Froggy? John?


    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 9:47AM
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lycopus(z5 NY)

I can't get the link to work; it directs me to someone's homepage. The idea seems to be common sense, since the nitrogen is fixed in the nodules on the roots of legumes. My understanding is that the roots of perennial plants, at least those native to prairies, die back by about 1/3 on a yearly basis. This not only improves the texture of soils but I would imagine that this would release some nitrogen into the soil in the case of legumes.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 5:11PM
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Vera_EWASH(z5 EasternWA)

that is weird....I copied and pasted the URL and read the study.
The original post was found on the Veggie Forum

I guess it is true that the foliage dies back, but if the nodules are on the roots, wouldn't the roots need to die in order to release the N? Like say when legumes are used in rotation with other it the tilling and killing of the roots that adds the N? Has anyone ever tested the N in an Alfalfa fied? This article is just making me curious now :)


    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 10:27PM
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froggy(z4/5 WI)

doesnt it make sense that the plant wouldnt give up that 'resource' until it is physically made to?

in his best Charley Heston/legume voice ====>
'you'll have to pry that N from my cold dead hands...'


    Bookmark   March 22, 2005 at 10:07PM
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Vera_EWASH(z5 EasternWA)

Ok than if that's the case dear froggy what is the importance of adding legumes to the mix if they need to die to release the N? Sorry if I'm confused on the issue :)


    Bookmark   March 23, 2005 at 11:30AM
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froggy(z4/5 WI)

cuz things die. cuz things get broken into parts and go thru cycles. cuz diversity is king. cuz legumes are a large source of protein (especially the seeds) for prairie animals. cuz worms and other soil 'thingies' get into nodules. cuz the nector is used by the karner blue butterfly. cuz mom nature put em there before we were around to argue...

but id say their largest place is the fixing of N for ATM into the soil cycle of prairies. now dont get me wrong, im not trying to read into the mind of god here, but my guess is that is the biggest reason to put legumes into ur mix. for that matter, put legumes into all the 'mix' u have, garden, houseplants, rainforest, even the harsh desert has em.

froggy trot's off singing 'beans, beans, the magical fruit...'

    Bookmark   March 23, 2005 at 1:19PM
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Vera_EWASH(z5 EasternWA)

Well that's the way I just learned it too this quarter in Plant Biology and I thought I understood it....rhizobium bacteria fix the N from the air and form nodules on the roots of legumes, etc...but than that article got me confused!


    Bookmark   March 24, 2005 at 9:04AM
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