Green manure

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Steve Curtis

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Green manure
« on: June 11, 2021, 15:30 »
Good afternoon all.
Any suggestions/comments/ideas on green manure as I have heard of its use and am wondering whether to try this later on.
I am in the sunny (currently) South West - Taunton and managing a 111m2 (apparently) South facing slightly sloping plot and have been for the past 6-7 years or so.

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coldandwindy

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Re: Green manure
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2021, 10:16 »
Hi Steve,
I'm replying because this seems to have dropped through the net without replies, not because I'm an expert in green manures! :D
I've tried field beans and phacelia at various times, to fill temporary gaps. The beans grew well but needed to be too far apart for my weedy plot.  I found I'd made myself extra work because I needed to hoe between them. I didn't notice any increase in fertility but you might be better where you are - I'm told that the nitrogen-producing nodules on the roots are temperature dependant. The phacelia was much more successful & I'm going to use that again. I sowed it very closely & it kept the weeds down for itself. Very pretty & attracted bees. I turned it in before it set seed & didn't have a problem with it trying to take up permanent residence.

So now I've brought this back up the page, someone who knows what they're talking to will be along in a minute & we can both learn something! :D
« Last Edit: June 12, 2021, 10:23 by coldandwindy »

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Plot 1 Problems

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Re: Green manure
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2021, 13:51 »
Phacelia all the way for me. It grows quickly, muscles out the weeds, attracts polinators and is easy to cut down with a hoe when you are done with it. I normally leave it on top of the soil to act as a mulch rather than digging it in. It's also worth noting that it doesn't fall into any of the plant groups your crops fall into so you don't have to figure it into your crop rotation, unlike other manures such as field beans, mustard, etc.

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Yorkie

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Re: Green manure
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2021, 21:30 »
If you have clubroot on your plot, avoid mustard as that's another brassica.

I grew grazing rye once - never again!  I dug it in one spring, when it had grown to about 9" high.  It didn't decompose for absolutely ages - probably into months.

You also need to be aware to have a waiting period before sowing any seed in the ground - the decomposition releases something that inhibits germination of some seeds.
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days all attack me at once...

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Plot 1 Problems

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Re: Green manure
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2021, 23:12 »

You also need to be aware to have a waiting period before sowing any seed in the ground - the decomposition releases something that inhibits germination of some seeds.

That's true, but it's also great for purging weed seed in new beds.

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Steve Curtis

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Re: Green manure
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2021, 14:00 »
Thanks for the responses, sounds like Phacelia it is then, let you know how I get on.

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bobbyt

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Re: Green manure
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2021, 15:21 »
Plot 1 Problems - Ref the Phacelia, I tried planting it for the first time 20th September, it didn't seem to grow that much and didn't flower, about 20-30cms high, (tbh wasn't expecting it to flower anyway). When do you plant yours, as I'd like to try it again, I was following recommended sowing times that I'd found somewhere, as it said if allowed to flower, it could reseed, and I didn't want that. Also when did you chop down as a mulch? Thanks.

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al78

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Re: Green manure
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2021, 16:14 »
Phacelia seems to have done a good job of growing dense enough to at least suppress weed growth on my plot. I think I sowed it early autumn last year, and it flowered this year. It does attract a lot of bees, it is like borage and comfrey for that, so might be a good idea to sow some near where you want to plant French beans or squash to encourage the pollinators.

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Plot 1 Problems

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Re: Green manure
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2021, 18:18 »
I sow it as soon as the last crop is out of a given bed. Obviously how well it grows depends on the conditions weather wise. I normally don't drop it until a week or two before I intend to plant out.

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bobbyt

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Re: Green manure
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2021, 13:54 »
Thanks for the advice.

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rowlandwells

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Re: Green manure
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2021, 09:13 »
most of you seem to favour Phacelia as a green manure and that does seem to be working quite well as a green manure something that I will need to try however having  bought both Mustard and Buckwheat I'm going to have to use those first but i have put Phacelia on my need to buy list for next year

so Buckwheat as I've never grew this before its going to be a suck and see so if any one has grew Buckwheat any info would be most appreciated



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