KEEP ‘EM GREEN, KEEP ‘EM KEEN Creating your own organic fertiliser
A Green manure crop is not actually manure. It is a living fertiliser and is the most organic form of fertilising available! The idea is to grow a mixture of annuals in your veggie patch as this will give the soil life through these winter months. Follow these simple steps today and your garden will be ever-grateful.
Step 1: Buy your budding seeds
There are packet mixtures of seeds that can be purchased from most nurseries but at this time of year it is important to use something that will grow through winter. Selecting or ordering individual seeds to grow will ensure success. Broad beans, rye corn, black mustard seeds are a good mix for this time of year, even peas and Lucerne will work well. If you happen to find any old seed packets of these varieties you can also use them to get the job done! Don’t forget though, the denser the green crop the more it will keep those nasty weeds at bay!
Step 2: Sowing the seeds
Cultivate the soil. Pelletised chicken manure can be added at this point but it is optional. Sprinkle the seeds over the patch and rake them around. This will give them good enough coverage and depth to shoot.
Step 3: Cultivate to generate
When the crop is about half a metre to a metre high or even head height it can be clipped or mown down to the ground. For those who are unsure when to clip their crops, 5 to 6 weeks before you are planning your next veggies crop is a good time. Cultivate the soil with a mattic or hoe to disturb the roots, aerate the soil and encourage the micro-organisms and earth worms into the soil. Pelletised chicken manure or manure can be added at this point also. Don’t get too stuck on when to add the manure because it can be added at any point throughout these steps!
Step 4: The fun stuff
5 to 6 weeks after the cultivation, your garden is ready to go with your next crop of veggies! The most rewarding thing about growing a green crop is that it is the most organic way to provide life back to your garden. It also comes with the benefits of having some unusual plants to look at, in what is for some an empty garden bed through the winter months.
With spring just around the corner, the time is now! With Matt’s easy steps, you can keep your garden alive through winter, ready for the warmer weather to follow, and give it the organic life it deserves. It’s good to be green!
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