Annual cool weather legumes are planted in the fall. The legume family (Fabaceae) includes a wide range of beans and peas that can be grown in cool weather or warm weather legumes such as black eyed peas, chickpeas or soybeans are planted in the summer. In warm winter climates, the annual cool weather legumes can be planted through February if irrigated, however, vetches need to establish early and should be seeded at the beginning of fall. If desired, plant them with grains (oats, barley, or rye) which support their upright vining growth and act as a nurse crop. When the seed is growing with the right rhizobia bacteria in the soil, the plants with fix nitrogen (can be seen as nodules on the roots). For maximum nitrogen fixing, inoculate (coat) your seeds with the appropriate inoculant.
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