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Red Clover is perfect for light sandy soils, which it prefers and where it grows best.
A fast growing perennial of the legume family, red clover is low growing and will, therefore, suppress weed growth. It’s also ideal as a nitrogen fixer, extracting nitrogen from the air, and it helps to add bulk to lighter soils. Its roots penetrate deep down into the soil, adding valuable water retaining fibre.
Sow from April to September and turn in before the flowers die and set seeds. Red Clover can be left in the ground for up to 18 months.
Sow at 2 grams per sq. m. - this packet covers 50m2
Apr, May, Jun, Jul
Green manures provide a cheap, economical source of composting material and are good as a soil improver, as well as reducing weed establishment in ground that would otherwise remain empty.
Ground preparation and seed sowing
Green Manures can be easily incorporated into a crop rotation programme. Clear the area of any weeds and debris from a previous crop of vegetables. Cultivate the area by digging or use a rotovator if it’s a large area. Rake the cultivated ground to a level surface and then firm by treading or use a garden roller.
Lightly rake the surface again and then sprinkle the green manure seeds over the prepared area. If you want a good ground cover to suppress weed growth then sow thickly. Finally, rake again lightly to cover the seeds and water if necessary. Then leave the area alone until the seeds have germinated. If the weather is dry then lightly water as required.
Incorporating the green manure plants into the soil
Give yourself plenty of time in deciding when to dig the green manure plants in. However, also take into consideration the time it will take for the green manure plants to begin to decompose. You don’t want to be planting vegetable seedlings into ground that has just had green manure plants turned in, as the decomposition stage will generate heat, which could damage your delicate seedlings.
Try to allow at least 2-3 weeks before planting or sowing seeds to the prepared ground. Watering the ground during warm spells will help speed up the decomposition of the green manure plants.
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