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Green Manure

Last post 06-11-2015 6:06 PM by Nell. 2 replies.

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  • 28/08/2015 01:11 PM
    • Nell
    • Mid Wales
    • 19 Mar 2013
    • 138
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     As the vegetable patches are becoming clear I was thinking abour sowing a green manure to help improve the ground and keep weeds under control over the winter.

     

    Does anyone have any experience of using green manures? and any recommendations on type. I have the vegetable garden divided into plots growing potatoes; brassicas; peas, beans and salads; the rest including onions, carrots, courgette and sweetcorn, which will be rotated next year, so can use different types depending  on what has grown there this year and what I am growing next year.

    Are the results any better than just clearing the ground and putting a weed surpressant covering (either the commercial fabric or and old carpet!) over it?

     

    Cheers

     

    Nell 

     

  • 28/08/2015 07:28 PM
    • Nigel
    • Paignton
    • 27 May 2008
    • 454
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     Nell

    I have used a variety of green manures over the years.  Most of the ones I use have to be sown not later September. I sow them as a mixture or a monoculture depending on what I have at the time. Currently I have got a patch of Phaecelia and Red Clover. Phaecelia is excellent for bees  etc with lovely blue flowers.Mustard is a brassica so do not sow after cabbages likewise clover and field beans as legumes should not be sown after peas, beans etc. Ryegrass and Italian Rye grass are good for overwintering. Tomorrow I shall be sowing a mix of red clover and Italian Rye to overwinter on one bare section of the garden. 

    In my experience Green manure does help to inprove soil structure and prevent erosion, also fairly good at suppressing weeds depends on the weed and the green manure. You can either dig it in or cut it down and compost it when you want. With the phaecelis which use more over summer I tend to chop it off at ground level, compost the tops and leave the roots in the ground. There are a number of other things used for green manure including buck wheat and alfalfa.Have a look round read the packet and pick ones suitable for your plans and time of year.

    One I have tried recently that is a bit different is Caliente Mustard which is said to act as a biofumigant when finely chopped and dug in. Certainly has a strong mustardy smell.

    More effective than covering I don't really know as I have never done that. Probably more attractive and will increase the organic matter level in the soil and the roots will help soil structure.

    Nigel

     

  • 06/11/2015 06:06 PM
    • Nell
    • Mid Wales
    • 19 Mar 2013
    • 138
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    The pheasants appear to have enjoyed the Hungarian Rye I sowed a few weeks ago! I spotted them on the patch a few times but didn't believe they would get it all, but I don't have a single shoot showing. Perhaps I should have netted it, but my netting was being used for protecting autumn sown broad beans and over wintering brassicas.