We’ve started planning for next year’s season, getting lots of green manures in to help build the fertility and structure in our soils. We sow these crops on overwintering beds and area we are leaving fallow, and incorporate into the soil a couple of months before we use the bed.
This year we are trying a cocktail of different green manure plants, and have just sown the following mix on beds in the bottom field:
- Alfafa– Alfafa, or Lucerne, is a legume meaning it works in symbiosis with rhizobium bacteria to fix nitrogen from the air into a form that plants can access
- Phacelia– Phacelia is great at suppressing weeds and holds lots of nitrogen in its foliage- reducing the amount of soil nitrogen washed away by the rain. It also has beautiful purple flowers that pollinators love!
- Fodder radish– this brassica is good for breaking through compacted soil, as well as being a great weed suppresor, and a seedy feast for birds!
We are finding it a bit of a challenge sowing green manure during this drought, as they struggle to germinate with the help of sprinklers (expensive). But rain is forecast this weekend so watch this space!