Mustard, phalecium, rye… Why and how to sow green manures?

If all plants are useful for biodiversity, many act actively on the quality of the soil, maintaining it and defending it against bad weather. This is the case with green manures.

When a vegetable plot becomes free, you must not leave it bare. Sowing green manure preserves the richness of the soil. They cover and protect it, fight against erosion and turn, when cut, into humus which restructures the earth. Do you want to combine beauty and good soil health? Sow green manures, changing them every year to feed the soil with various inputs!

Broadcast seeds. Cut the plants before the rise to seeds, in order to avoid spontaneous sowing. Once cut and left in place, they provide organic matter and humus to the soil. As they decompose, they release elements necessary for the proper growth of vegetables. You can also use them all year round for mulching.

Diversify green manures

Plants with an important root system, such as phacelia or rye (the roots of the latter go down to 1m deep), aerate the soil and seek mineral elements in depth. Mustard and phacelia quickly form substantial foliage. Depolluting the soil, they improve its structure. For their part, legumes bring nitrogen to the soil and enrich it. This is the case with alfalfa, peas, broad beans or clover. Buckwheat grows quickly, even in poor soil, tolerates drought, and provides carbon. After sowing, green manures quickly form a mass of greenery, thus keeping the soil cool and preventing the installation of unwanted grasses.

Even on a small area

Do not hesitate to sow green manure on mini plots, even if they are only 5 m². Let them bloom and cut them off. For faster action, grind them. A few weeks later, you can start a new crop without first removing the remaining stems and giving a rake.

→ READ. Garden: how to speed up the decomposition of compost


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