Spent Bean And Pea Plants - Knowledgebase Question

Hicksville, NY
Question by Fluke031
August 10, 1999
I've heard spent bean plants were good to turn into the soil at the end of the season as they add nitrogen to the soil, unlike spent tomato or pepper plants, is this true? Also, I have snow peas , are they good to turn into soil as well, or should they be pulled and removed at the end of the season?

PS.... This site is fantastic and has really helped me build a bountiful garden my neighbors are envious of ..Thanks again!

Answer from NGA
August 10, 1999


The rumor you've heard is correct. Both peas and beans are legumes, and both will help improve the soil if turned under at the end of the season. Peas have special nitrogen-fixing nodes on their roots which capture and then release nitrogen, so you'll get an added bonus by turning under these plants. Or, you can pull them and put them in the compost pile. Just to be on the safe side, be sure to rotate your crops next year and grow something besides beans or peas in that particular garden area. You don't want to bury insect eggs that might hatch and attack next year's crop!

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