This year I learned about “nitrogen-fixing plants” that create and draw nitrogen into the soil – a vital component of healthy gardens.
The following is a quote from an article by Phil Andrus
, “Nitrogen-Fixing Plants”:
- Seventy-eight percent of the air we breathe is nitrogen. Unlike oxygen, the other important constituent of air, nitrogen is not highly reactive. Nitrogen serves as the atmospheric medium in which the more active gases are carried, kept separated, kept quiet. We cannot do without nitrogen, but we do not do much with it.
- Plants, however, do a lot with nitrogen. It is an essential component of all plant life, being one of the basic elements in the chemical structure of proteins. However, nitrogen in its gaseous state cannot be used by plants. Rather, nitrogen must first be converted into various nitrate compounds for it to sustain plants. This conversion, called fixation, occurs in many ways, both naturally and artificially: in fertilizer factories, by lightning storms, by certain plants, and by some special soil bacteria, yeasts, and fungi. In addition, nitrogen compounds are concentrated when consumed by fish, birds and animals, all of whom secrete this concentrated nitrogen in their manure.
(The article has a lot of good information).
This forum is to list nitrogen-fixing plants, giving us a reference tool when planning are gardens.
-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)