Grow green manure

How to boost your soil with an easy to grow solution.

How to grow

  • Prepare the soil by removing weeds, digging over if it hasn’t been recently cultivated, and raking level.
  • Scatter seeds over the surface of the soil using around 50g of seed per square metre or follow suppliers’ recommendations for specific crops.
  • Make sure the seed is in firm contact with the soil by gently tapping the surface with the back of a spade and water well.
  • Seeds should germinate quickly covering bare patches within two to three weeks
  • Leave plants for up to eight weeks before digging in. If plants start to flower before this, cut off the tops and dig in.
  • Leave the green manure to decompose in the soil for up to four weeks before planting vegetables.

  • Why grow them

    Green manures are ideal whenever a patch of land is going to be free of crops for six weeks or more, and they are particularly useful to vegetable gardeners and allotment holders. Although many green manures can be sown all year round, they are ideal when sown in the autumn to overwinter, when vegetable plots are generally empty.

    They have many benefits. As they grow they form a green carpet that prevents weeds from growing and some have the ability to absorb nitrogen from the air, which is transferred to the roots and released when dug into the soil, giving a boost to the vegetables that follow. Growing a green manure in winter prevents soil from having nutrients washed away by rain or snow, and some varieties have a fibrous root system that helps to give the soil structure. Clover is a green manure that can be left to grow for a year – when it flowers it attracts bees and other pollinating insects.

    Growing tips

    Prepare the soil by removing weeds, digging over if it hasn’t been recently cultivated and raking level. Scatter seeds over the surface of the soil using around 50g of seed per square metre or following suppliers recommendations for specific crops.

    Make sure the seed is in firm contact with the soil by gently tapping over the surface with the back of a spade. Water in well. Bare patches should be covered within two to three weeks and plants will the most good if they are left for around eight weeks before digging in. If plants start to flower before this, cut off the tops and dig in. Leave the green manure to decompose in the soil for up to four weeks before growing vegetables.

    Varieties to try

  • Mustard – sow from March to September
  • Crimson clover – sow from April to August
  • Fenugreek – sow from March to August
  • Agricultural lupin – sow from March to June
  • Grazing rye – sow from August to October
  • Winter tares – sow from March to September
  • Winter field beans – sow from September to November
Advertisements
This entry was posted in Do It Yourself, Garden, Go Green. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s