The Q&A Archives: Inoculants

Question: This summer will mark my sophomore vegetable gardening summer! I cannot believe how wonderful last season went. to my question. I am expanding my garden and plan to plant both bush peas and bush wax beans. I need to know what innoculant does, do I need it, and how do I use it. I look forward to your suggestions and answers...and to the day when I can once again get my hands in the dirt!

Answer: Inoculant is a good idea, especially in new gardens. Inoculant is a beneficial nitrogen fixing bacteria which is mixed (shaken or stirred) with seed for legumes such as peas and helps increase yield and enrich the soil. Inoculant is usually sold for specific plants (eg peas, snap and dry beans, lima beans, fava beans, etc.) so be sure you are using the right kind for the plant you are growing. Since it expires, you should use a fresh batch of inoculant each year, and plant the seed just after it is treated.

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