Why use Green Manure / Living Mulch in your Organic Garden

Discussion in 'Indoor Growing' started by Sunshine, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. Sunshine

    Sunshine Well-Known Member

    Everything you wanted to know about ‘green manures’....

    What are they?

    Green manures are plants which are grown to benefit the soil. They can
    • improve the soil fertility, including adding valuable nitrogen
    • improve the soil structure, giving better drainage or water retention
    • suppress weeds (outdoor)
    • attract beneficial insects and other predators (outdoor)
    They are quick growing, so the process is simple. You sow, they grow - and then you dig them in. In just a few weeks their green foliage returns the nutrients to the soil.

    Soil fertility – Clover and vetch absorb nitrogen from the air and fix it in nodules on their roots. Once the green plant is mature, by digging it back into the soil all the nutrients are returned as the plant decomposes. This process also feeds the millions of small microcosms in the soil, stimulating them into creating a healthy rich growing medium.

    Improved soil structure – whether your soil is heavy and clay-like, or light and sandy, green manures can help rectify any problems. The extensive, and sometimes deeply penetrating, root system of green manures will open up heavy soils, allowing better drainage. In light soils, these roots remain closely bound to the soil particles and act as a sponge. They hold onto moisture and nutrients, and prevent them from being washed out.

    Retains Moisture:
    Just like normal mulches, the clover will retain moisture in the soil by absorbing all of the sun before it hits the soil, helping you maintain a healthy spongey soil; rather than a dried out top few inches and a soggy bottom, you will get much more even moisture levels throughout the soil.

    more info https://www.greenmanure.co.uk/pages/what-is-green-manure
  2. Sunshine

    Sunshine Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately I've misplaced my micro clover seeds not suprising as everything is a bit topsy turvy at the moment. Perhaps they are hiding with my timers :rolleyes:
    I'm not panicing though as they cost $1 for 1000s and I've just reordered (which means I'll find the other pack which still has 80% left) :poop:
    Should be here by the weekend :party:

    "A blend of short and tall varieties which can be cut back and spreads by a network of creeping stems close to the surface which fix the beneficial nitrogen. "
    420boss and FerretWrangler like this.
  3. FerretWrangler

    FerretWrangler Well-Known Member

    I have seen this alluded to but never fully explained. Once I've got a crop under my belt and another under way I believe I'll give this a go!
    Sunshine likes this.
  4. FerretWrangler

    FerretWrangler Well-Known Member

    I suppose this is off topic, but relates enough so i don't have to make a new thread? Could I use some of my trim:
    As food for microbials/compost in my existing plant's soil, or in a soil mix for new plants?
    Sunshine likes this.
  5. Sunshine

    Sunshine Well-Known Member

    You can use it as leaf mulch on the soils surface, it breaks down pretty quickly and the plants really like it :)
    When you start creating large amounts of garden waste you might want to consider a diy worm bin ;)
    FerretWrangler likes this.
  6. FerretWrangler

    FerretWrangler Well-Known Member

    I'm already considering it :) thanks @Sunshine!
  7. Sunshine

    Sunshine Well-Known Member

    The new pack of White Clover seeds turned up this morning, hoping to get round to sowing them this weekend will update when done :)
    BudMonster likes this.

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