Nitrogen fixers vs fertilizer
Nitrogen-fixing bacteria live in the soil and form symbiotic relationships with plants. These bacteria are able to convert atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia (NH3), which can be absorbed by the plant. The most common type of nitrogen-fixing bacteria is Rhizobia, which form nodules on the roots of legumes like peas, beans, and soybeans. These nodules provide a home for the bacteria and a source of energy for them to carry out nitrogen fixation.
Nitrogen-fixing bacteria have several advantages over fertilizers. First, they are free and readily available in most soils. Second, they provide a steady, slow-release source of nitrogen, which can improve soil health and reduce the risk of leaching and runoff. Third, they can improve the quality of the soil by increasing its organic matter content, which can improve its water-holding capacity and provide nutrients for other microorganisms.