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Nitrogen clumps: good for your plants

You might see some white lumps on the roots of your snow peas and other legumes. These contain nitrogen, something every plant needs.
Nitrogen bumps growing on the snow pea roots
So, you've harvested all your snow peas. And it's time to remove your plants. When you pull them up, you discover some white bumps on the roots. Don't panic: it's common for this legume plant family. These nodules also show up on the roots of bean, sugar snap, and winter pea plants. 

That's what makes this plant family unique. It takes nitrogen from the air by working together with bacteria.

Rhizobium bacteria absorb nitrogen from the air and store it in the white bumps. The plants then take the nitrogen from there.
Harvesting and almost time to remove the plants

What do plants use nitrogen for?

All plants need nitrogen to make proteins. They get it from the soil. Thanks to the bacteria, legumes have an extra nitrogen source. 

That's why snow peas, peas, and beans are full of protein.

It's also why they don't need a lot of extra nutrients.

Paying it forward

The great thing is: if you leave the white nitrogen-rich lumps in the soil mix for your next round of sowing, your new plants can also use them.  

tidy is neat

There are 2 ways to do this: 

Either cut your harvested plants just above the roots and leave them in the soil mix, bumps and all.

Or: you can rub the nitrogen-rich lumps off the roots easily. This makes it easier to prepare the soil mix for sowing again. 
You can leave the white nitrogen-rich nodules in the soil mix so your new plants can benefit from them
So, that's that.

You can enjoy your snow peas in a stir fry. And separate the waste:
The last snow pea harvest with root and leaf debris
And now? We're ready for the next round. 

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