Today we’re looking at growing green manure crops and in particular a productive one, it’s a technique that works well in all soils including clay and sandy soils, it’s organic, environmentally friendly, and a great way of fertilizing and improving your soil. Traditional green manure crops include Tic Beans and Annual Lupins however we’re using a productive winter crop.
The process of making green manure
This is our broad bean crop it’s been busy fixing nitrogen into the soil, we’ve picked the beans eaten some and frozen some and now we’re ready to pull out the plants. We’re going to use these as a green manure crop, and it’s simple.
Ideally we will have pulled them out before they flowered, however we wanted the beans as well. The broad beans are out, there are a few weeds, there will be in any garden, so we simply dig all them out and again we’re using implement like little Hoe makes this sort of job very easy.
So we’ve cleared the garden bed of all of the broad bean sand. we’ve removed a few weeds that have been growing beneath them.
Chop the plant
We’ve got a wheelbarrow full of broad bean plants. Simply place your broad beans on the ground don’t put them all down at once, it’ll be a little bit too much to handle, come along with a spade chop them up. As you can see you chopped them up and that beat pile that you had diminishes greatly in size, we’ve chopped them up that’s fairly fine, that’ll do.
If you’ve got pieces that size doesn’t really matter. It’s all nice and green but what we want to do is get this back into the soil as quickly as possible.
If you can’t be bothered chopping it up you could get out your motor mower over the top of it, catch it in a grass catcher and you’re going to have a very very fine broad bean green manure.
Dig your soil
Now we’re back at the veggie patch and what we’re going to do now is a little bit of digging, we’re simply going to take out some soil and we’ll do this in rows.
Go as deep as you can without getting into the subsoil, the reason we’re digging that out in rows is that we don’t want to dig all of the soil out of the veggie garden then have to put it back in again, so it’s a sort of easier.
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Put chopped plant in to soil
Method to do, we’ve chopped up our broad beans and we’re ready to start putting them back into the soil it’s fairly simple you just take a handful sprinkle along the hole.
After dug, we’re going to put in a little compost and a little bit of Vermi compost because you don’t need to do this step if you don’t have those products. After that, it’s as simple as back filling over the top and as we go along we’ll do the next row.
You’ll notice that the soil here is fairly dry at the moment so we’ll water this in after we finish the process and we’ll work our way through this whole garden bed. We’re finished digging in our green manure.
What we’ll do now is, we’ll water this in well, and then we’ll put some mulch over the top, the mulch over the top simply prevents weeds from growing, it’s also going to help retain moisture which is really going to improve the whole process so that’s it for green manure the easy way.
You can of course use the other legumes that you dig back in before they flower but as we said we wanted a productive green manure the broad beans were it, and they’re going to be fantastic for this soil.
One of the other great things about green manure is that the worms love it , as it starts to decompose green manure will attract worms to your garden and that is beneficial. There are lots of reasons to use green manure and there are lots of different ways of doing it.
If you want to go the traditional way you’ll so tic beans or annual lupins in late spring to the beginning of winter you’ll let them grow but not let them flower or set seed, so they’ll get around knee-high and then you simply dig the mover smash them back into the soil at the end of winter you can try that as well green manure a cheap and very efficient way of improving your soil and remember it also works well in sandy and clay soils.
Benefits of green manure
- Working of natural issue and improved soil structure: A significant advantage got from green manuring is the expansion of natural issue to the dirt. Detailed increments of soil natural issue (SOM) following GM use regularly extend somewhere in the range of 0 and 1% of all out soil mass.
- Nitrogen obsession: Nitrogen obsession from vegetables is the key advantage of developing leguminous green fertilizer crops. The bit of green fertilizer nitrogen accessible to a succeeding harvest is as a rule about 40% to 60% of the aggregate sum contained in the vegetables.
- Improved soil microbial action: A raoid increment in soil smaller scale life forms happens after a youthful, generally lavish green fertilizer crop is fused in to the dirt. The dirt microbs increase to assault the newly fused plant material.
- Improved accessibility of local soil supplements: Besides expansion of nitrogen, vegetables help in reusing of other supplement on the homestead. Supplements are collected by green fertilizer crops during a developing season. At the point when the green fertilizer is fused , or set down as no-till mulch, these supplements become gradually accessible during decay. Green excrements rummage supplements from the earth and translocate them upwards to the surface establishing zone, where they become accessible to the succeeding harvest.
- Improvement in soil physical properties: Green manuring effectively affects soil physical properties. The dirt physical properties that are influenced by joining of the green excrement incorporate the structure, dampness maintenance limit, consistency and thickness.
- Advantages of establishing activity: The broad root arrangement of some green compost crops is exceptionally viable in slackening and circulating air through the dirt. At the point when GM crops are planted after a sub-ruining treatment, they help broaden the dirt releasing impacts of the sub dirtying treatment.
- Weed concealment: Green fertilizer crops consume the empty space and light and there by conceal the dirt and decrease the open door for weeds to set up themselves.
- Soil and water preservation: The dirt preservation benefits gave by green compost crops reach out past insurance of uncovered soil during non-crop periods. The mulch that outcomes from a synthetically or precisely joined GM crop expands water invasion and lessens water dissipation from the dirt surface.
- Improved harvest yields: countless field tests have been directed to contemplate the impact of green manuring on the development and yield of different succeeding harvests. The outcomes acquired for certain harvests have shown an expansion of 20-half in grain yields. The valuable impacts of green manuring on yield however differ from harvest to edit. Rice is profited most; wheat is straightaway, while increment in cotton and sugarcane yield is generally littler.