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Green Manure or not?

Hi all,

Not sure if this is on the right topic or not but hey ho.  Having just taken on an allotment (yay) I want to work on repairing fencing, sheds, growhouse and build compost bins etc before I plant stuff in the ground.  Only cos I have M.E. and can't do too much at once.

So once I have cleared the site of the dying veg that is in there I wondered whether a green manure would help prevent weeds.  There are lots of nettles, bindweed (grr), comfrey on the alloment site in general but want to deter them from my plot if I can.  Also the soil is very clay based, would green manure help?

When sown can it be left until spring or do I have to dig it in before then and resow?

Sorry very beginner type questions lol.  My plan in the future is to use the comfrey and nettles on site for fertilizer etc.but I am a long way from that.  Oh, can comfrey and nettles go in the compost bin?  Which I have yet to build from pallets my neighbor gave me lol.

Any advice, suggestions and so on gratefully received.

Thanks

Sam :)

Posts

  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,531

    Pretty much anything that has been part of something living can rot down into compost, though some things like wood and feathers take too long.  Buy all means compost nettles and comfrey.  Most garden and allotment crops are annuals and shallow-rooted.  Nettles and comfrey are long-lived perennials with deep roots.  They take up nutrients from deep down where the crops can't reach, so by composting them or making liquid feeds, those nutrients become available to your crops.  Nettles are rich in nitrogen which supports leafy growth, and comfrey is rich in potassium which promotes flowering and fruiting.

  • Mary370Mary370 Limerick, Ireland Posts: 2,003

    A little word of warning re homemade liquid feeds..............They stink!!  I tried it this year with nettles, I was not expecting the smell, ended up throwing it down the drain.

  • Thanks Mary370

    What green manure do people use/recommend for clay soil?

  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,531
    Mary370 says:

    A little word of warning re homemade liquid feeds..............They stink!!  I tried it this year with nettles, I was not expecting the smell, ended up throwing it down the drain.

    See original post

     Mary, have you tried straining it?  In my experience, the pong comes more from the rotten remains of the plants than from the liquid.  So if you can endure the smell once while you strain it (or get him to do it), the liquid will be less unpleasant to use subsequently.

    Me, I wear it as perfume.

  • TopsoiledTopsoiled Posts: 113

    Green manure - I'm trying this on my plot for 2 reasons. 1. Soil is very sandy and needs organic material. 2. Having left the some of the soil bare over the summer weeds quickly take over. however the green manure will need to be cut and dup in which is a lot of work. If your budget stretches to it I would go the no dig route- cover in cardboard and put a thick layer of compost on to this - google "no dig". If you can build raised beds - even better. That solves your weed and clay issues. If your compost heap is big enough and hot enough everything can go in. 

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