The Q&A Archives: Pea Inoculation

Question: In one of your answers to a question about sweet pea failure to sprout you said that the area was probably not inoculated for peas. What does this mean and how is it accomplished?

Answer: When planting peas in an area where legumes haven't grown before, it helps to treat seeds with an inoculant powder of bacteria, called Rhizobia. This treatment promotes the formation of root nodules, which container beneficial bacteria that convert the nitrogen in the air into a form usable by plants. To use an inoculate, soak peas in water for 24 hours, then roll wet seeds in the powder immediately before planting.

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