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Plant Diseases/appropriate legumes in Pemgranate orchard


I already planted favabeams and snappeas in an orchard of pomegranate and avocados as I heard it helps with available N.
I was told however that chickpeas would carry diseases, mostly fungal, to the orchard. Is this true?/
Also, is growing edamame (soybeans) in the pomegranate/avocado orchard a good idea?

Legumes provide added nitrogen since bacteria in their roots fix nitrogen.  I cannot imagine that the chick peas would carry diseases to the orchard.  In most cases, plant pathogens have restricted host ranges and the pathogens on legumes would not spread to pecans.  As long as you are buying seed from a reputable source, I would not expect the legumes to cause any disease problems.

In most cases when cover crops are used, the entire plant is tilled into the soil at the end of the season.  Since this is under an orchard, it would not be possible to till it in.  I would suggest mowing the plants at the end of the season.  I have not heard of anyone using coybeans, snappeas etc.  In most cases, people use a plant such as hairy vetch.  With this plant, the nitrogen has been useful and allowed for yield increases in the orchard.

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Jennifer Olson


Plant diseases affecting vegetables, fruits, nuts, lawns, trees, shrubs and ornamental plants. I have just volunteered as an expert on this site as of 01/2011.


Identification and management of plant diseases. Have been employed as a Plant Disease Diagnostician since 2002 and currently work in the Plant Disease and Insect Diagnostic Laboratory at the Oklahoma State University.

National Plant Diagnostic Network, Great Plains Diagnostic Network

B.S. Biology - Lebanon Valley College; M.S. Plant and Soil Sciences,concentration Plant Pathology - University of Delaware; Ph.D. in progress - Oklahoma State University.

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