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Learn About Planting Perennial Legumes

Most legumes grown in the home garden, including beans and peas, are annuals, meaning they complete a life cycle in a single year.

Perennial legumes are those that live for more than two years. What are perennial legumes? Legumes, plants that belong to the Fabaceae family, are grown specifically for their seeds.

In agriculture, legumes are cover crops valued for their ability to fix nitrogen in the soil. This age-old technique, which consists of growing plants in fall and winter before releasing them to the ground in spring, is also used by home gardeners.

Planting perennial legumes and other cover crops not only improve soil nutrition, but also loosens compacted soil, prevents erosion, and helps keep weeds in check.

Perennial legumes are also an attractive and effective ground cover.

Beans and peas are the best-known legumes, but the legume family also includes many others, such as:

Perennial legume varieties

Perennial legume varieties include several types of clover, such as white clover, white clover, red clover, and sweet yellow clover, as well as perennials such as pea, cowpea, bird's foot clover, and several varieties of perennial peanut.

The best perennial legume for your area depends on several factors, including your plant's hardiness zone from the USDA. Perennial legumes vary in strength.

How to grow perennial legumes

Planting perennial legumes is not difficult. Here are some tips: Grow perennial legumes in full sun. Work the soil well before planting, as legumes grow best in loose, fertile soils with a lot of organic matter. Water well at planting time.

Once established, perennial legumes require little water until flowering, but be sure to water if the plants look wilted. When flowering begins, water well to stimulate pod development.

Also, keep perennial legume plants well cared for. Contact your local cooperative extension office for more specific details on planting perennial legumes in your particular area.

We hope you enjoy this video about perennial legumes:

Source: Morag Gamble : Our Permaculture Life

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