Nitrogen fixation into a pot using beans?

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by daozen, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. daozen

    daozen Junior Member

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    So I'm growing anual plants with a very short vegatative period that would benefit from a N boost. I planted them in 5' inch pots with regular potting soil and sowed 4-5 beans at the same time (but just learned beans are poor fixators https://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_a/a-129.pdf) in hopes for some nitrogen fixation as green manure. I was hoping to chop n' drop once the beans started flowering but it might be too late, how ong will it take from the chop n' drop till the main plant uses the nitrogen from the leftover rhizobium and mulched plant matter?
     
  2. Finchj

    Finchj Junior Member

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    Were the beans inoculated before planting?

    I'm not sure how long it takes for N to be released from the legume's roots, but it shouldn't be very long. If you need an immediate boost, why not use some urine?
     
  3. matto

    matto Junior Member

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    According to Robert Kourik's Edible Landscape book, before flowering of legumes take place 50% of the nitrogen is found in the roots of the plant whereas when the same plant has seeded 5-20% is left in the roots and the seeds now hold 70-90% of the nitrogen. This is why green manures should be turned in before flowering.

    If you want to add nitrogen, try brewing a weed tea to make an available form of nitrogen, or perhaps grow some N-fixing azolla and incorporate this into your potting media, allowing it to break down as you would a greeen manure. I have also seen fairly instant results of using coffee grounds I collected from a cafe spread onto lawn.
     
  4. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    I am not convinced that the same science/rules apply to dirt/soil
    as to plants in pots, in a potting mix.
    A commercial potting mix will be sterile and will probably need synthetic fertilisers added.
     
  5. daozen

    daozen Junior Member

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    nah, I just clipped the tops out. That urine tip is awesome!!! How much can one apply to seedlings in 5 inch pots? (I always have clear urine as I drink plenty of water, haha) Can I just start bottom watering with clear urine everytime?
     
  6. daozen

    daozen Junior Member

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    What about putting some unused coffee grounds on top of the soil under the mulch leaves? How much would one use on 5 inch pots?
     
  7. Finchj

    Finchj Junior Member

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    Even if your urine is clear, you should dilute it considerably. From the frontpage of PRI Australia, here is a little primer on using urine as fertilizer. Watering with urine every time should not be necessary, especially given the dangers of bacterial infection combined with the unwanted side effect of turning your plants into fertilizer addicts.

    I have heard many things about using coffee grounds in the garden. Most of the articles I have seen have recommended composting the coffee grounds because of they have a tendency to burn plants. In our garden, we have used spent coffee grounds in our compost piles, but never have applied them directly to a plant. I would avoid putting them straight from human use to garden use to be safe.

    What exactly are you growing in these containers?
     
  8. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Someone makes chook poo pellets enriched with blood and bone
    This might be a good organic way to go

    I would not use urine on little plants in pots

    Coffee grounds might be OK at the bottom of the pot but would not be a complete enough fertiliser You could also use a handful of seaweed.

    But a plant in a pot is a synthetic un-natural thing anyway so . .
    .
    Most seedlings can survive for a supsingly long time with no fertiliser
     
  9. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    There is a local potting soil here by a company called, "Fox Farm" that would disagree with you.

    I hate their use of peat moss and personally wish it was coconut husky stuff. The stuff is between 6.3 & 6.8 right out of the bag. This is the stuff the local "cough cough" growers use for their HERBS. ;)
     
  10. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    That does acidify the soil over time.
     
  11. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

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    I'm pretty sure used coffee grounds are basically neutral ph-wise.
    Anything I plant in pots is miserable, but I refuse to admit defeat. I think the main problem, as has been mentioned, is the lack of a decent soil-food-web, making it really hard to grow organically.
    daozen, pardon the thread hijack:)..
    As a bit of a sidetrack; is there anyone who actually has great success growing in pots? Please share!
     
  12. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    That sounds great there is nothing like that in Australia.
    I would wonder/be wary about using it as a seed raising mix though.

    Peat harvesting is a vexed issue but there is really nothing as good as it; coconut fibre just is nowhere near as good. A lot of peat comes from middle Europe now (if you can find it here). https://www.pole-tourbieres.org/docs/n16_eng_peat_mining_landscape.pdf
    if I buy any I assuage my conscience by thinking I am helping a Romaian eat.
     
  13. daozen

    daozen Junior Member

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    well, I sprinkled a little unused coffee grounds on top and used a 20 something to 1 diluted urine, hopefuly the acidity in coffee will be balanced by the salts in urine? we'll see how it goes...
     

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