Green manure or horse manure?

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yorkiegal

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Green manure or horse manure?
« on: July 09, 2012, 18:34 »
I've decided not to plant anything else on my plot this year as it's a new one and I still have a lot of digging and turf removing to do. It's clay soil and very compacted. So I have around half of the plot which I can dig in the next few weeks. The remaining plot will gradually come free as I harvest stuff.

My query is can I add horse manure as I double dig and then sow green manure (clover and alfalfa) on top? Or would it be too rich? We have manure delivered to the site but it's fresh.

If I can't, which type of manure would you say is best for my soil in preparing it for next year?

Also, my understanding of green manure is that I hoe it into the soil once it's grown. Am I going to have any problem with it just becoming an invasive weed?

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allotmentann

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Re: Green manure or horse manure?
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2012, 19:05 »
Strangely, I dug in my first lot of green manure today (mustard). My soil is also heavy clay, and I grew the mustard on a compacted area that had not had crops growing on it for a long time. The ground had been covered. I cut the mustard down as it was just starting to flower and dug it straight in. The soil was much easier to work and nowhere near as 'clumpy'. What I can't be sure of is whether this is solely because of the green manure or whether the heavy rain will have had an effect? I am researching green manures at the minute as I am really interested in them. I came across an article yesterday saying that certain types of mustard may even act as biofumigants, cleansing the soil and ridding it of bad nematodes, eel worm etc. I have included the link to one article, it is quite in depth but very interesting. I am afraid I can't help with the horse manure plus green manure question. I am not keen on adding horse manure for a couple of reasons, 1. I have no cheap source 2. I don't know what may be in it that I don't want on my plot. So green manure seems to be the way to go. I am not sure whether any can become invasive, but I do know that some can be hard to dig in (especially certain types of rye grass), another reason I am researching them as thoroughly as I can. :)

http://www.plantsolutionsltd.com/caliente.htm

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potatogrower

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Re: Green manure or horse manure?
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2012, 22:23 »
i'd say once you have remmoved weeds and turf and dug it over, leave a nice thick layer of manure on top. leave it until spring next year. in spring get a bag or 2 of sharp sand, sprinkle on top and hire a rotivator and rotivate it up down to a foot or how far it can go. that will really help break that clay and mix in the manure and sand. its made a difference to mine and you may only need to do it once.  just make sure you got rid of any weeds or roots before rotivating.

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Kirpi

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Re: Green manure or horse manure?
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2012, 22:28 »
Or - leave the clay and turf where it is and use the lasagne method. In time, earthworms will tunnel and aeriate the clay soil for you as they come up through the lasagne layers and your turf will rot down to a loam.

Just make sure there are no tough perrenials in the turf before you start.

No back ache just plenty of good soil.

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yorkiegal

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Re: Green manure or horse manure?
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2012, 23:03 »
ok thanks. my plot is covered with dandelions, bindweed and thistles so i may as well take off all the turf by the time i've got them all out lol.

I suppose that if i plant green manure now, I will still have time to let it grow and cut it down before autumn comes and then put the horse manure on.

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Kirpi

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Re: Green manure or horse manure?
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2012, 23:21 »
Hmm you have a point - those weeds would grow right through lasagne!

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Trillium

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Re: Green manure or horse manure?
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2012, 01:12 »
The green manure now and then manure later sounds like a good plan. Heavy soil takes a LOT of matter to loosen up so for the first few years there's no such thing as overkill. Remember to add some powdered lime in spring to help neutralize any acidity from the muck.



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