Next Year’s Garden: Green Manure

Next Year’s Garden, continued…


Green Manure Crops

Cover crops, turned back into the soil, are another means of adding organic matter, and thus improving soil texture. Also, as they decompose, they release nutrients. Fall-sown crops such as annual Ryegrass can be grown over winter and dug into the soil in early spring. Do this at least four weeks prior to planting your garden.

Other good winter cover crops include some legumes such as Winter Vetch, Crimson Clover and Austrian Winter Peas. Legumes have the advantage of adding more nitrogen to the soil. Be sure to till 8 weeks ahead of growing season so nitrogen is released, not tied up in the process of decomposing the cover crop.


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