As with most plants in the legume family, Glycine max, soybeans, grow in cooperation with soil-dwelling bacteria. These bacteria live in nodules on the roots of legumes. They take nitrogen gas from the air and convert it to a form plants can use. This process is often referred to as “fixing nitrogen.” When the legume dies and its roots begin to decompose, residual nitrogen in the nodules becomes available to other plants. Minnesota farmers take advantage of nitrogen fixation when they plant soybeans in rotation with corn. The soybeans fix nitrogen in the soil; the following year the succession plants use the nitrogen.
The largest concern in using soybeans as a cover crop or “green manure” is going to be finding organic and Non-GMO seeds.
Soil: Loams, tolerates poor drainage
Per acre: 90 pounds
Per 1000 square feet: 2½ pounds
Seed Depth: 1½ inch
Sow: Spring or Summer
Turn under: Summer or Fall
- Grow Your Own Nitrogen
- Organic Fertilizer
- Using Worm Castings
- Difference Between Red Clover and Alsike Clover
“The earth neither grows old or wears out if it is dunged.”
~ Columella, circa 45 A.D.