about farming

When and how to plant cover crops

Written by Dr. Shaun Murphy

Here is about When and how to plant cover crops from planting them to use them as green  manure. We will also look at it’s benefits and importance for the soil. I will also share my personal experience about my cover crop plant to make them green manure. Cover crops are also known as green manure crop.

Welcome to farmingocean. Let’s talk about When and how to plant cover crops.

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 talking about a productive winter crop. 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 our favorite implement little Korean Hoe makes this sort of job very easy.

So we’ve cleared the garden bed of all of the broad beans and we’ve removed a few weeds that have been growing beneath them. 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 it 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.

People also readOrganic manures (benefits & preperation)

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 now you’re going to have a very very fine broad bean green manure.So 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.

Method to do so 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, you’ve dug after that we’re going to put in a little compost and a little bit of Vermicompost because we have it 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. That’ll all break down you’ll notice that the soil here is fairly dry at the moment so what we’ll do is?  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, so there we have it. We’ve watered in the garden bed and we’ve started to put some mulch around, we’ve also planted our next crop which are going to be Tomatoes and we’ll put in a few companion plants with them as well.

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 them over 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 good luck with your gardening.


About the author

Dr. Shaun Murphy