Add Nitrogen to The Soil

Add nitrogen to your soil with legumes and other nitrogen fixating plants. This weeks #CTWW challenge: Are you up for adding nutrients to the soil in a delicious way? By growing legumes we get food at the same time as we fertilize the soil with nitrogen via biological nitrogen fixation. I love sugar peas and usually grow a pot with them on my balcony. Last year I had a problem with mildew so this year I have to skip them. I am trying to figure out a replacement since legumes are so delicious and useful. Do you have any suggestions?

Pea Pod. Add Nitrogen to The Soil | My Green Nook

Here are some plants that via symbiosis with bacteria binds nitrogen: alfalfa, beans, clover, lotus, peas, soya beans, Lupinus and Sesbania. The bacterium lives in so-called nodules in the plants root system. From there they fix the nitrogen required by the plant. The soil access the nitrogen when the plant droops and withers. It is crucial to leave the plant in the soil. Mulching it down in pieces. If you tear up the plant the nitrogen will go to waste unless you put it in the compost.

Nitrogen fixation is a part of green manure. When you buy a seed mix you will see that some plants with this function are included. This is a great way to treat your soil in a greener way. Green manure is used to nourish and decompose the soil. In the end you get a healthy and airy soil. I have mentioned green manure in an earlier post Prepare for the green season.

Here is a link to a video showing how to grow green manure.

Make sure you check out the hashtag #CTWW in all social media to get more information about legumes. This challenge is managed by Reduce Footprints you find the link in my sidebar.


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Prepare for the green season

Winter. Photo: Charlotte, My Green Nook ©2014-2015

Winter. Photo: Charlotte, My Green Nook ©2014-2015

It is snowing outside and winter still lingers on. But there is much you can do to prepare for the green season. Though the garden, patio or balcony is at rest and last years blossom is just a memory. Now is the time to plan for this years garden. My suggestion is to write a to-do-list and plan for your purchases. Use your garden notes from last year to fresh up the memory – which plants were successful and which were disappointing?

I for instants had a good year for Dahlias, Begonias, Geraniums and Melothria scabra. My sweet peas were very leafy but did not blossom and I had a problem with Aleyrodidae, a small white flying garden pest.

Vintage Seed Pack Label. Photo: chicks57 @flickr

Now the seed companies are releasing their catalogues for 2015. Maybe you can find some new seeds to try or get hold of old cultural seeds. I love to look for heritage plants (in Sweden POM or Grönt kulturarv). The heritage plants often have a unique habitus, scent or touch. And are well worth to try. Use them in the garden to create a diversity and let these beauties live on along with our modern plants. Do not forget to use wildflowers maybe for a meadow or woodland patch in the garden. Also think of all insects like bees and butterflies. Today it is easy to find special collections for wildlife. If you have a plant bed that needs to get a fresh start I can recommend using Green Manure. That is plants with the ability to nourish and/or decompose the soil. Read more about Green Manure here.

Bee and willow. Photo: condesign @Pixabay

Bee and willow. Photo: condesign @Pixabay

And last but not least buy organic seeds and soils when possible. Use mechanical or biological pest control if you need. Soft soap and baking soda are two pesticides which I prefer to use if I have to. Reuse and repurpose as much as you can. It is both fun and creative – only your imagination sets the limits.

In my Pinterest collection you find some seeds that made me curious. Here are some examples: Chenopodium Capitatum (strawberry sticks), Cucumber ‘Crystal Apple’, Petunia multiflora ‘Old Fashioned Vining’, Daucus carota ‘Dara’. What do you plan for the garden this year? Any new projects or new plants?

I joined the Retro Re-pin Party #28 at:

2 Crochet Hooks