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Green manure - Phacelia

Hi. Gardening newbie here. I have a large (empty) clay border that I want to improve before planting next year. Am thinking of sowing Phacelia and leaving it over winter after something I read online. Does anyone have experience of this. Did it work and when did you cut it back and when did you dig it in? 


  • We have used a green manure mix (containing Phacelia) in the past.  I'd say it's better for adding nutrients to the soil, than as a way to break down the clay so that you have a lighter soil with better drainage.  We dug the mix back into the soil around Mar/Apr.

    If you want to improve the soil structure and texture, you are better off digging in as much well rotted manure, or good compost, as possible.  This will add nutrients too.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,160
    I agree.  Pile on as much well-rotted manure and garden compost as you can get and spread it evenly.  No need to dig if you do it in autumn.  The worms and other soil organisms will work it in over the winter and the texture and drainage will improve as they do it all for you.

    Phacelia is good for improving fertility as @KeenOnGreen has said and is also great for insects and pollinators so use it as a filler when you do plant your bed.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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