Peas and Beans
belong to the Nitrogen Fixing Legume Family.
All Peas and Beans are members of the
Legumes and Nitrogen Fixation.
Beans and Peas - including such flowering plants as
the Sweet Peas, and all members of the Legume family of plants. This
family also includes trees, perennials and shrubs and are all
important in one particular respect.
They are all able to 'fix' the all important plant
food Nitrogen from the atmosphere. This is stored in small but
visible 'nodules ' on the root system, and is often left in the soil
after the plant's death.
The Nitrogen is obtained from the atmosphere by a
symbiotic relationship with the nodules and certain bacteria.
Legumes are important for many agricultural
purposes - especially on soil that has become depleted of Nitrogen.
In the garden, this phenomena is useful for the production of leaf
crops nearby, that need plentiful supplies of Nitrogen - (see
NPK). Together with this, if
the old stems and foliage of Legumes are dug into the soil, there
will be less need for added nitrogen fertiliser.
An all important - but often overlooked - advantage of using your
Legumes for Nitrogen, is the fact that it is a wholly
source of one of the most important feeding elements for plants -
vegetable growers rarely realise the full potential of growing
Leguminous plants for this food source.
Peas and beans as vegetables, have a high protein
content, which is probably as a result of the added Nitrogen
available to the plant from the action of the root nodules. Plants
generally are a good source of protein - whatever the dieticians
say. Legumes in particular are high in this essential food source
for humans. It does not have to be meat!
The Nitrogen element of plant food is essential in the overall
growth of the plant, and for foliage in particular. That is why it
is often recommended to grow leafy salad crops such as
near to, or directly after a Legume crop.
Below are a few links to members of the nitrogen
fixing legume family. They are all everyday vegetables that we love
Broad Beans -
Sowing in winter or spring?
Sowing and growing
French Dwarf Beans. Pots or garden.
beans - Sowing and Growing
- Shell Peas; Sugar Snap Peas; Mangetout Peas:
By David Hughes -