Cover crops and creen Manure for the Summer - 18. May 2020
Cover crops are crops used to protect and improve the soil, they help preventing soil erosion and nutrient loss and they provide good insulation. Once the cover crops are cut down and incorporated to the soil we can then refer to them as 'Green Manure'.
Benefits of Cover Crops and Green Manure
- Increases organic matter and improve soil composition
- Boost and controls nitrogen levels in the soil
- Prevents the loos of nutrients that can be caused by agents of weathering
- Create insulation for the soil, keeping it cool in the summer and warm in the winter
- Prevent soil erosion, which might happen when the soil is left bare
- Helps with weeds and pests control
- Provide readily available nutrients to the next crop
Most of times green manures are sowed in late summer or autumn to prevent nutrient loss during the winter, this is a choice that can be explained also by the lack of space, if we sow green manure in the summer it will take up space that can be devoted to other crops. Summer-grown green manure, however, can bring great benefits to the soil at the end of the summer, if we wish to plant winter crops.
Some types of summer-grown green manure we offer are:
Arable Marigold, Nemato Stop, Blumenwiese für Nützlinge, Mix from Landsberg, Summer Break, Sabbath Year.
How to manage green manure
- Seeds can be sown in rows or broadcasted across the soil
- Depending on the variety of green manure sown, once it's ready for cropping, it should be cropped and the foliage should be left to wilt
- The wlited foliage should then be mixed with the first 25cm of soil
- You should wait at least two weeks before sowing the next crops, as the decaying material can haper plant growth