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Green Manures

291961.green-manureGreen 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.

We are providing three different types of green manure this year in convenient pack sizes which will grow over 25 square metres of soil each. They are all fresh seeds provided to us in bulk from a local wholesale seed merchant.

Mustard White Tilney

Mustard is a fast growing green manure that can be sown from March to the end of September. It has a growing period of 1-2 months and can reach 60-90cm tall. This half-hardy annual grows on most soil types but particularly likes fertile ones. It may require additional watering in dry periods especially to help it establish.

Mustard produces large volumes of green matter and residual fibre which when chopped up and dug in is particularly good for soil that lacks organic matter as it helps to improve soil texture and moisture retention.

Mustard Green Manure is part of the brassica family so caution is needed if sown before a brassica in a crop rotation plan as it may increase the likelihood of diseases.

£1.20 pack to cover 25 square metres of soil.  

Forage Rye (or Hungarian Grazing Rye)

Forage Rye Green Manure can be used anywhere in crop rotation plans as it is a grass, and is one of the best for over wintering.

Rye has deep penetrative roots that help to break up heavy soils and so improve soil structure. It is brilliant at suppressing weeds as it grows quickly and continues to grow in cold conditions. It suits most soils and copes especially well with heavy clay ones.

Sow August to the end of October and dig in during early spring.

Please note that forage rye releases a chemical that inhibits the growth of small seeds (particularly carrots, parsnips & spinach) so a month should be left after digging it in and before sowing the next crop. It does not pose a problem for transplants or young seedlings.

£1.20 pack to cover 25 square metres of soil. 

 

Forage Pea

Forage Pea Green Manure is a member of the legume family that is excellent at fixing nitrogen and has deep penetrative roots that help to break up the soil. It can grow up to 1 metre tall.

Forage Pea is excellent for over wintering and can be sown from September to November. It has good weed suppressing qualities but its foliage is not as bulky as some other green manures that overwinter.

It is possible to use Forage Pea mixed with other green manures, however good enough to use on its own too.

£1.20 pack to cover 25 square metres of soil.  

 

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