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Green Manure


 
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Rio1
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 22 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:26 am    Post subject: Green Manure Reply with quote

Hi

I have grown Green manure in my raised beds - i would like to get straight into planting when spring arrives. Does anyone know who long it would take for the green manure to break down once it is cut and dug in.

many thanks

Rio

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michael brenock
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Joined: 12 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it all depends on how woody the stems of the plants have become. All vegetable plant material are broken down by soil microorganisms and in doing so they use up soil nutrients temporarily. Leave it grow for another month before digging it and mixing well with the soil so that the developing roots of the next crop will be able benefit. It could take a full year before the nutrients are completely absorbed by the roots of the plants. Many of the organic promoters give the impression that the sap of the green manure is taken up by the roots of the crop. This is not so.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Green manures are often used in the veg garden to smoother soil and their roots prevent soil erosiln, The roots of some green manures in the Legum family also fix nitrigon to their roots.
Before planting chop down the foliage and leave to wilt then dig into the top 25cms of soil. it is best to leave for a couple of weeks as they can prevent plant growth when breaking down.
One of the disadvantages of green manures is that they provide ideal cover for slugs and snails, therefore some action may need to be taken to control these pests.
The following are examples of green manures, Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Clover,mustard and trefoil.
I have seen green manures used in a number of public gardens, National Botanic gardens, Marley park and the walled garden Ashtown In the phoenix park.
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