Monday, 8 October 2007

Green manures

Heavy winter rains are bad for bare soil.
Nutrients are leached away and soil is compacted.

There is still time to plant 'green manures' into earth that has been cleared to prevent these problems.

Green manures benefit the soil by:
providing foliage protection - their leaves take the impact of the rain and prevent soil compaction
their roots provide structure and reduce leaching
their stems, leaves and roots take up nitrogen from the soil and store it over winter so that they can be released again through composting or mulching in the spring.

So far, bare soil has been planted with buckwheat and field beans. Today I hope to complete coverage by sowing grazing rye.

Then I will feel that the garden has been 'tucked up' for the winter.
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