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Clovers for nitrogen fixation

Hey people!

I'm a simple homegrower and I've been using legumes for nitrogen fixation for some time, which has saved me the hassle and money of applying ammonia fertilizer.

Now, I've recently become aware that clovers are too, legumes, and they too, form nitrogen nodules for nitrogen fixation and I came with the idea of:

1. Growing it on bags that allow me easy access to root systems.

2. Prune some of the roots.

3. Throw these nitrogen rich roots into compost, to enrich it (which can help a lot in places where food scraps are scarce).

You think this is a good idea? Is it worthwhile?

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2 Replies
Veteran Advisor

Re: Clovers for nitrogen fixation

Clover (aka "green manure") has long been one of the best ways to build/enrich soil.

Frequently used in a cover crop mixture.

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Senior Reader

Re: Clovers for nitrogen fixation

That is a lot of work to go to for not a lot of return. Yes, the nodules contain nitrogen but so does the the plant material above the ground. Optimal composting requires a 37 to 1 carbon to nitrogen ratio to compost most efficiently. Without going into testing and weighing, just use a lot more carbon source, straw, grass clippings, food scraps, whatever, and add much smaller amounts of nitrogen sources like alfalfa, clover, manure, urea, whatever and mix occasionally  so as the mix fresh oxygen into the compost. The material that composts the fastest is near the surface and oxygen, so mixing the pile speeds the process considerably. Don't get so hung up on exact amount of ingredients. Spend your effort on making sure it gets mixed and is moist.