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Manure seeds planting ideas/advice

We've moved house and I am in the process of designing our new currently mainly bare soil garden.

It's very clay heavy soil, Slightly alkaline and relatively poor in nutrients. As it will take me a while to plant all my brothers etc I was thinking of planting some manure seeds onto my future borders to a) keep the weeds at bay until I get to planting the border and b) enrich the soil quality by then using the grown plants cut for tilling into my soil. 

Has anyone done this before and has good experiences or is it a slightly stupid idea? I was thinking of alfalfa seeds or are there better options out there for clay soil?



  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,894

    I have to say I don;t know the answer to your question, but I don't see any way alfalfa will improve your clay soil as far as structure goes. I'm sure it would add goodness in terms of nutrients but I don;t think it's going to help break down the clay.

    Lots of organic stuff is what you need. If you can smother the borders with well rotted compost or manure of some descroitption that is the best way. Ideally a 4" layer of the stuff.
    If you're not growing acid-loving plants then mushroom compost is good (but it is a bit alkaline) or horse/farmyard manure

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • LilacleleLilaclele Posts: 2

    Thank you Pete8. Yes, was thinking nutrients in the first instance and then get some compost on once I have made some compost with my new hot composting bin. 

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,894

    Go for it!

    I put down a 4" layer of rotted horse manure last autumn on my borders it was a lot of effort, but the results are obvious already

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • chickychicky Posts: 10,390

    We used green manure once, and never again - it takes years to get rid of the unwanted seedlings image

  • OnopordumOnopordum Posts: 390

    Council green waste compost is another cheap source of organic matter (especially if you can collect it yourself from the recycling centre). Green manure plants certainly won't harm but aren't a substitiute for bulk organic matter. I like Phacelia personally - very attractive, bee-friendly flowers. I haven't found seedlings a problem (quite the opposite, I wish it would self-seed more).

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