Boost Production of Peas By Using an Inoculant

Boost Production of Peas By Using an Inoculant

Peas are one of my favorite vegetables to grow in the garden. I think I like them so much because they are usually the first thing I plant in later winter/early spring.

It’s always a great feeling to break free of winter’s grasp and begin planting something!

Peas are generally pretty darn prolific in the vegetable garden on their own, but there’s a very simple way you can increase your pea yields and grow stronger, healthier plants.

You can do this by adding a garden soil inoculant to the pea seeds when planting.

What Is a Garden Soil Inoculant?

A garden soil inoculant consists of a very special bacteria called Rhizobium leguminosarum. Yeah, it’s a mouthful.

Bag of Garden Soil Inoculant for Peas and BeansPeas are in the legumes plant family, which has a wonderful ability to be able to fixate nitrogen into the soil.

Without getting too technical, they take nitrogen that is naturally occurring in the air, and “trap” that useable nitrogen, through its root system, into the soil to use as fertilizer.

The Rhizobium leguminosarum bacteria are the guys that help facilitate this nitrogen fixing process. The bacteria get inside the legume roots, make a home there, and then create a situation where the legume roots fixate nitrogen into the soil.

The bacteria is naturally found in soil everywhere, but not in large enough numbers to make a big enough impact with the legume roots. That’s why it is important for you to add inoculant to peas and other legumes to promote better growth and production.

Garden soil inoculants can be found in different forms. There are some that come in granular form, and are packaged in a convenient shaker.

You can also find the inoculant as a mixture of humus and the bacteria. This is probably the most commonly used version used by gardeners.

By adding the bacteria to the soil, you are greatly increasing the overall health and production of your peas!

How to Inoculant Peas

Now, inoculating your pea seeds may sound kind of intimidating, but it’s actually a very simple process. Many gardeners may have various techniques they use for adding the inoculant to their seeds.

Some gardeners will mix the inoculant with water to create a thick slurry, which they use to coat the pea seeds as they are planting.

Some others will just dump the pea seeds into the bag containing the garden soil inoculate and shake it all around – Shake N’ Bake style.

Sprinkle the Garden Soil Inoculant on Pea SeedsI prefer to simply place my pea seeds in the holes, or furrows, like I normally would any seed, then sprinkle a good dose of the garden soil inoculant on top of the seeds.

I make sure to cover the seeds well with the inoculant. You can’t over-inoculant the seeds. The more you use the better.

In fact, there’s more chance of you not using enough inoculant on the pea seeds, so make sure to use a good bit on each seed.

Once I have enough inoculant on each seed, I just cover the seeds with soil, and water them in well. You want to keep the seeds consistently moist until they germinate just like you normally would most seeds.

That is all there is to it!

The bacteria should bond with the pea roots as the seedlings grow, and help to significantly boost the production, and overall health of your pea plants.

Another benefit of the nitrogen fixing power of legumes and Rhizobium leguminosarum is they improve the nutrients of the soil for vegetables you may plant after the peas are finished for the year.

Planting right after the peas will give the following plants a good boost of nitrogen in the soil.

You will be surprised at the benefit of adding a garden soil inoculant to your peas, beans, and other legume family plants!

Try These Delicious Peas In Your Vegetable Garden

Discuss in our forums

7 Comments on Boost Production of Peas By Using an Inoculant

  1. I started using the inoculant on my peas 2 years ago. What a difference in my yield. It’s amazing stuff.
    I will change my shake and bake method to the one you describe in this article. It sure sounds like a better method with more of inoculant getting and staying on the peas.Thanks for that heads up!
    Happy gardening from zone 5a

    • Hi Phyllis – The shake and bake method can work well, I just never knew if I was getting enough on the seeds when doing it. I tried just pouring the inoculant on top of the seeds one year and it seemed to work much better. You can also wet the seeds before planting and that will help the inoculant to stick to the seeds some. Many people soak the seeds over night to speed up the germination anyway. You can do it either way.

      It really depends on what works best for you and what you are comfortable with. For me, simply pouring the inoculant on top of the seeds then covering them and watering seemed much quicker and easier.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I used slurry method this year and b/c I was wanting to feel the soil texture as I covered them, i kept gloves off of my hands. Well that was not so bright b/c then I had SUPER nasty dirty hands and the inoculant stained my fingers at first. I scrubbed them with a nail brush a lot. The moral of the story is:
    Use lightweight rubber gloves if u need to feel what you’re doing and want to avoid stained fingers. Also last year I think I did a shake and bake method and maybe sprinkled a teeny bit on top of them in the hole and had the BEST peas ever. I planted nasturtiums in front of them thinking they’d be a pretty low row of color and they grew as tall as the pea plants and intertwined. The soil with the peas or just after with that inoculant is better than any compost you can dream of. AND the flowers were even bigger, not just the plants. The plants were like nasturtiums on steroids.

  3. Hi! Just found your website thru Pinterest- great info & love the how to pictures also. I am a new gardener & plant my first peas 3 weeks ago (zone 3 here). I was wonder if inoculant can be add with water as a fertilizer or only during plant time, and also what are some good things to grow in that spot after the peas are done producing. Thanks-Lisa

  4. Hi, I just found thuIs blog. Nicely done. I’ve been googling all morning but cant seem to fnd an answer to my question. I use the Burpee booster on my green beans this year and they are beautifully green and tall already at only 3 weeks old. So I’m very happy with it so far. I understand its a kind of bacteria already present in the soil so that’s why I’m slightly confused by it. My question is if I were to stir some in with my other seeds like corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, watermelon and squash, will it make a difference in their production as well or does it really only react with the peas and green beans? Thanks 🙂

  5. Oh, im in SE Texas, thats why I planted so Zone 9. Nice and warm by now usually.

  6. When I plant peas and beans I soak them overnight in a glass or ceramic container and add a few drops of coffee.  The coffee acid helps break down the hard seed shell -so I am told.  The next morning I drain the seeds.  I grab a mason jar and head to the garden.  I add about 1 tbs of inoculant to the mason jar and then 5 pea or bean seeds- shake till they are covered then plant.  I find that only doing 5 seeds at a time makes it easier to manage.  I repeat until all my seeds are planted.  This year because I couldn’t find the inoculant I wanted so I will just do the peas.   I find find I do the beans with inoculant I get so many I land up with so many I either have to freeze or give them away.  We are just two people so 5 green bean & 5 wax bean plants more than do us.

Leave a comment