Store-bought fertilizers are effective and easy to use. However, not all gardeners are ready to use them, because chemical compounds can be dangerous. A good alternative to industrial formulations is green manure crops. They are safe, environmentally friendly, and equally effective. Let’s figure out what types of green manure are.
Types of green manure plants
All types of green manure have unique properties. One chicly loosens the soil with long roots. Another protects against diseases and saturates the soil with huge amounts of nitrogen. Most often, green manure has an equal number of pros and cons, but there are also more versatile crops with a ratio of 4 advantages to 1 disadvantage.
The best green manure that will be effective on any soil, in any season, and suitable for every crop does not exist. You will have to sacrifice something and choose one of the following types:
Green manure legumes include: peas, lentils, alfalfa, beans, lupine, clover, soybeans, vetch, chickpeas, sweet clover, honeycomb, and clover. The main advantage of legumes is their ability to generate record amounts of nitrogen in the soil. Most of the vegetable crops that are relevant for growing on domestic soil are extremely sensitive to this particular substance, which makes green manure beans especially popular.
Grain green manure include: wheat, barley, oats, rye, and sorghum. Their distinctive feature is the content of a large amount of nutritious proteins, potassium supply, and partial independence from the type of soil.
Cruciferous green manure include: spring rapeseed, white and gray mustard, rape, and radish. This type of crop is a perfect organic fertilizer that gives odds to any manure. They have a powerful root system and they don’t care about the temperature overboard. They do an excellent job with pests and even have phytosanitary properties.
Only one representative is buckwheat. From the pros: rapid growth, the ability to deeply loosen the soil and reduce its acidity.
One representative is phacelia. The unique water-leaved culture provides the soil with: a huge amount of green mass, improved soil structure, rapid growth, and protection from nematodes. It is not afraid of the cold, easily gets along on any soil, and survives with a small amount of light.
Representatives: sunflower and calendula. Only lupine can compete with sunflower in terms of power and depth of roots (it easily reaches two meters). Benefits: incomparable green mass and indifference to soil types.
Also, one representative is amaranth. Its superpower is to stimulate the vital activity of beneficial microorganisms and supply nitrogen, withstand cold and not be afraid of diseases and pests.
Green manure examples
Green manure is very different. Some are more suitable for spring sowing, others for autumn sowing. Let’s list green manure to sow in the fall.
Belongs to the legume family. Unpretentious, actively gaining weight even on depleted soil. Converts phosphorus compounds into a form assimilable by other plants, stores nitrogen. The powerful root sinks to a depth of 2 mm, taking useful substances from there. Lupine loosens the ground well, scares off the bear and the May beetle. Sow it in August, cut it off after a month and a half. Sowing lupine in place of any legumes is not allowed, there are no other prohibitions. An important point. As a green manure plant, only annual varieties are used. Decorative perennials are not suitable for this…
Fast-growing annual. In a short time, it produces a large amount of tops and roots, when rotting which produces high-quality humus. In the process of growth, it accumulates potassium and nitrogen in the leaves. The phacelia rhizomes are home to bacteria that produce a natural antibiotic. That’s why growing it “disinfects” the land… In addition, phacelia is a natural insecticide. It scares off weevils, locusts, aphids, nematodes, wireworms.
Rye is sown before the onset of frost and after the autumn digging. In any area, it gives a large amount of grass mass. Displaces most of the known weeds, including creeping wheatgrass (for this reason, it is often sown when developing virgin lands). It accumulates nitrogen and potassium compounds, loosens the soil mixture well. Most often, winter rye is sown in the garden… In the spring, the cut grass is left in place for a while, this creates the best conditions for root rotting. You cannot grow rye after any cereals, for example, after corn.
An unpretentious annual cereal crop, it grows equally well on any type of soil. Its vegetative mass is especially rich in phosphorus and potassium. According to these indicators, it is comparable to manure, but at the same time, it contains less nitrogen. The powerful fibrous root system effectively loosens heavy soils and strengthens the lungs. The biomass embedded in the soil significantly improves its structure. Oats produce dense growth that drives weeds out of the area. It is considered a good precursor for nightshades, pumpkins, and cucumbers, as the potassium in it improves the taste of the fruit. It is undesirable to plant potatoes and any root crops after oats: there is a threat of wireworm infection…
Herbaceous annual of the cruciferous family. It grows up to 70 cm, quickly grows greenery. Extracts from the substrate and accumulates hardly soluble micro-and macroelements transform them into a form that is easily accessible to other plant organisms. Enriches the soil with nitrogen, improves its structure, displaces weeds. It releases sulfur into the ground, which scares away slugs, wireworms, and moths. In addition, sulfur disinfects the substrate, inhibits the development of pathogenic microflora and fungi. Mustard slows down the processes of alkalinization of the soil mixture and shortens the crop rotation cycle… Its application allows you to return the culture to its original place a year or two earlier than the planned date.
There are two types of rapeseed: spring and winter. The latter tolerates low temperatures well, so it is chosen for autumn sowing… Any rapeseed gives a large amount of biomass, rich in sulfur, phosphorus, and other useful elements. All parts of the plant contain essential oils, so it repels pests and disinfects the substrate. Rape loosens the soil well, improves its structure. It stabilizes the acid balance and slightly deoxidizes the soil. Restores the fertility of the site in a short time. Its introduction in terms of efficiency is almost equivalent to feeding with manure.Cannot be planted after any cruciferous…
We have figured out why green manures are needed for a vegetable garden in the fall, what is better to choose for sowing on your site. Green Fertilizer is effective, affordable, and completely safe. It is easy to use in your garden beds, and you don’t have to worry about overdosing. Even so, it won’t do any harm. The only danger is the late cutting of the green mass when the seeds have already formed. In this case, a useful green manure plant turns into a weed that floods the garden. This cannot be allowed, all agrotechnical recommendations must be strictly observed.