They protect the soil from weeds and enrich it with nitrogen and humus: green manures are all good.
Sow them in the vegetable garden as soon as a plank is released.
We call green manure fast growing plants used to cover the ground when a crop is finished. Alfalfa, clover, mustard, phacelia, lupine white, rapeseed… are among these useful plants.
Sown in the vegetable garden as soon as the earth is bare, they prevent weeds to settle, prevent rains from washing the soil and, for sloping gardens, fight against landslides. Their roots hold the earth and aerate the soil. Once buried, they provide nutrients to enrich it.
Implementation of green manures
Green manures are sow like grass, on the fly, on land just scratched, at early spring, to the end of summer or to autumn before frost, as soon as a harvest is complete.
- Cover with a thin layer of soil, tamp and water.
- Germination only takes a few days.
- Plants can stay in place for two to six months depending on their species.
Then, before the flowers go to seed, mow or mow your green manures, let them dry for a few days before burying them in the ground with a spade. Four to eight weeks later depending on the plant, you can start your seedlings and plantings.
- It is also possible to use mown green manures as mulch, to protect spring plantings.
Which green manure to choose?
Depending on the type of soil, some plants are better suited than others. Alfalfa and mustard work well in clay soil, phacelia adapts to all soils. The choice may differ depending on what you plan to sow next.
Better avoid growing crucifers (radish, cabbage, turnips…) after mustard, rapeseed or rapeseed, because these species have diseases in common. In contrast, the clover is recommended after this type of crop, because it fixes nitrogen - which crucifers are greedy for - to the soil.