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Green manures without the digging ?

Hi all , 

          ok, i have never used green manures before on my allotment but would like to try them this year to help keep down the weeds and improve the soil. I know the idea is to grow them and then dig them in ,in the spring a few weeks before planting. What i would like is some input on the idea of not digging in the manures but instead, covering with cardboard or fabric a month or two before planting and letting the worms do the digging for me. Has anyone else tried this ? If so, what were your experiences ? 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and comments.


  • LoganLogan Posts: 2,532
    Hi I haven't tried it but if you cover it to exlude light it could work
  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    Physalis - an excellent plant for bees.  Trouble is, if you let it flower, like any other green manure, it gets tough and takes ages to rot down.  And it seeds like mad so you then have it for ever, which is no bad thing.

    To get back to the original question, yes: if you hack it down (hard work) you can cover it with carpet/polythene/cardboard and the worms and microbes will break it down for you.  It'll probably take longer than a few weeks though.

  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,252

    I thought that you could just cut the tops off and compost them letting the roots rot down in the soil or pull them out wholesale and compost them.

  • scigibscigib Posts: 51

    Cut the tops and dig the roots in. It is the roots that contain the nodules of nitrogen.

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