Green Manures

A few more weekend have passed and more digging and weeding has been done… I dream of couch grass and dandelions.  Had the folks over today and I think we’re steadily making good progress.  I actually love digging, it’s therapeutic, I can definitely tell I’ve worked hard afterwards and is much more fun than the gym.

Today we’ve dug a ditch down the length of the plot as I think a lot of the couch grass is growing in from the path, hopefully this might deter it.  I may put some weed killer down the ditch next spring just to stop it crawling in after I’ve planted.

September Digging - Ditch    September - Looking Better

My neighbour suggested I plants some “Green Manures” to add goodness into the soil and ward off weeds, and funnily enough when  I saw mum she said the same… weird coincidence.

Green Manures

Green manures are fast-growing plants sown to cover bare soil. Often used in the vegetable garden, their foliage smothers weeds and their roots prevent soil erosion. When dug into the ground while still green, they return valuable nutrients to the soil and improve soil structure.

Green manures are usually sown in late summer or autumn and mop up any nutrients, preventing them being washed away by winter rain.

Other benefits of green manures include protection of the soil surface from compaction by rain and shelter for beneficial insects such as ground beetles.

How to Grow Green Manures

  1. Sow seeds in rows, or broadcast them across the soil and rake into the surface
  2. Once the land is needed for cropping, chop the foliage down and leave it to wilt
  3. Dig the plants and foliage into the top 25cm (10in) of soil
  4. After digging in, the site should be left for two weeks or more before sowing or planting out as decaying green materials can hamper plant growth

Green Manures – RHS Website

Sounds good to me!!   Now where to buy some…

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One thought on “Green Manures

  1. Pingback: Green Manures – yes or no? | garthdeeallotments.org

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