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Green Manure General Mixed – A typical general mixture of green manures consist of both legumes and brassicas and will almost likely include Minerva Maple Peas, Italian Ryegrass, Common Vetches and Forage Rye, which are suitable for most soil types.
A general mix is a good choice if you are new to the idea of green manure and perhaps not quite sure which ones to choose. A selected mix will include plants that are good for ground cover, good at fixing nitrogen and returning it to the soil, useful as a natural fertiliser and good for improving soil structure and moisture retention.
A general mix is a good place to start with green manure for both the allotment and the vegetable garden. Sowing is from May to July and the growing period for a general mix is from 2-6 months, after which you can cut the stems and then dig everything into the soil. Alternatively, you can leave the growing plants to overwinter and then dig them in during the spring or early summer of the following year.
Sow at 3 grams per sq. m. - this packet covers 33m2
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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