Beans Produce their Own Fertilizer

Bean Seed Inoculation helps legumes such as peas and beans to “fix” their own nitrogen. Beans produce much of their own nitrogen needs via a symbiotic relationship with a group of  bacteria called rhizobacteria or rhizobium. Rhizobium is a soil bacteria that fix nitrogen for legume plants. Our atmosphere contains more than 75% nitrogen gas (N2).  They convert the nitrogen gas in the atmosphere into ammonia nitrogen NH3+, a form usable by the plant.  Bean Seed Inoculation is important so as to ensure this bacteria-root dance. Colorado State University has a very well written page on Bean Seed Inoculation, if you are interested in reading the technical description of this process. Inoculating the seeds with Rhizobium bacteria before planting is helpful.

Multifaceted Symbiosis

All legumes, including beans, interact with the Rhizobium and interchanging metabolic fluids. Legume plants have the ability to form a symbiotic relationship with rhizobium bacteria. Inside the nodules, the bacteria convert atmospheric nitrogen (N2) to ammonia NH3+, providing organic nitrogenous compounds to the plant. In return, the plant provides the bacteria with organic compounds made by photosynthesis. The bean’s roots exude certain carbohydrates for the bacteria and in return the bacteria produce nutrients. The carbohydrates are basic food stuffs for the bacteria. This encourages the rhizobia to adhere to it. The bacteria multiply on the roots surface and cause more root hairs to grow. On these root hairs begins a process called ‘nodule formation”. The bacteria colonize plant cells within root nodules. Inside these small tumors the bacteria induce specialized genes required for nitrogen fixation. This important function allows bean plants to convert nitrogen from the gaseous form found in the air N2, into a usable form. This allows beans to use this nitrogen for plant growth. Without these beneficial bacteria, beans cannot fix nitrogen.

Soils normally do not contain many rhizobium bacteria. So it is necessary to inoculate the legume with the proper strains of bacteria prior to planting the seeds. Bean Seed Inoculation is a low-cost process which returns benefits many times higher than the costs.

Bean Seed Inoculation | Rhizobium Bacteria

Bean Seed Inoculation couldn’t be easier. There is no special procedure really. Take 500ml of the OST Rhizobium, which contains at least 109 rizobios/gram and add 2 tablespoons of crude sugar. Place your seeds in it for a few minutes. Some seeds like a dunking for a few hours. This all depends on the state of the seeds being planted. Imported, older seeds could need a bit more time to hydrate than fresh seeds recently harvested. Afterwards, just plant the seeds. There is no drenching of soil or anything more to do. If your supply of the inoculate is limited, then you might want to reuse the liquid. Store it away in a cool place for the next batch. It’ is always better to store your containers of fungus and bacterias in the refrigerator if your not performing Bean Seed Inoculation everyday.