Thus far, my beans aren't nodulating. I still don't know if the deficiency is in cobalt or Rhizobium. I've been looking online for a cheap way to test for the presence of Co whilst browsing Rhizobium stockists.
Most places (quite sensibly) won't ship live bacteria to any address that isn't a school or college. Trouble is that this includes Rhizobium. Some strains of Rhizobium can infect humans, but not the same ones that infect beans. Thus far, the only place I've found that'll sell me Rhizobium will also sell me Penicillium, Candida, and Staphylococcus. OH HELL NO! I shan't publish the address because I don't want to encourage or facilitate stupidity.
Staphylococcus is the genus which includes the dreaded MRSA. Whilst certainly dreaded, MRSA lives on the skin of 1-in-3 of us and is only likely to harm you if you have an open wound or a compromised immune system. Still, after the huge media flap over MRSA (ethical journalism FAIL!), you'd think they'd be careful with Staphylococcus.
Penicillium gives us penicillin. Penicillin is restricted for a good reason, in that overuse of it is what started this whole superbug fiasco in the first place. People should not be making batches of dubious penicillin in their garden sheds.
Candida is a fungus that gives you ringworm or thrush. Bloodstream infections from Candida have a mortality rate of between forty and fifty percent. A vengeful, twisted eejit who got hold of a batch of Candida could load up the Karcher, take it down to Westfield and give ten thousand people a dose of thrush. It also makes wine go off and I can't be having that!
Suffice it to say that I shan't be shopping at a place so reckless as to offer any germs to anyone.
So, I'm back to square one. A mate's dad grows V. faba and he gets N fixation just fine, so I'm trying to get a clod of his soil to spread on mine. He's fine with it, the only problem is he's down in Southampton. Next time I visit Ro I'll stop by, but that won't be for a while yet.
I best get working on that Co test...