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How To Grow A Green Manure Crop In NZ 2022-23?
Summer crops are gathered and stored by the end of autumn, dead plants are removed, and the soil is left fallow. Late summer and autumn planning will see winter crops planted anytime an area of garden becomes vacant. Leeks, Brussels sprouts, silver beet, kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, beetroot, parsnips, and carrots, for example, may all be grown and harvested for winter meals.
Any weeds and their roots should be removed from any unused garden sections. This should be done in the autumn, before the soil turns cold and damp in the winter. Digging sodden dirt is terrible for the building, and it’s also not enjoyable to be out there digging in the depths of the earth.
Attempting to conceal
Nature dislikes bare soil and will seek to fill the garden with weeds if left alone for an extended period of time. There are several methods for keeping your garden weed-free in regions that are not planted with winter crops. Spread a thick layer of compost or manure – the deeper the layer, the better. During the winter, earthworms will perform the majority of the job, dragging it into the earth and improving the quality of your soil.
Alternatively, you may plant a ‘green manure’ crop, which will crowd out weeds while also enriching the soil when dug back into the garden. A green manure crop, unlike other garden crops, returns all of its nutrients to the earth.
Make your own manure
Cover crops, sometimes known as ‘green manure crops,’ include lupin, mustard, clover, oats, lucerne, broadbeans, and buckwheat. They grow quickly and bring value to the garden in a variety of ways:
A green manure crop will provide organic matter to your soil. Organic matter improves the general health of your soil and the important microorganisms that dwell inside it by restoring valuable nutrients that were depleted by earlier harvests.
Green manure crops supply organic matter in-situ; scattering seeds around your garden is considerably easier and less expensive than lugging large sacks of compost!
Weeds will be blocked since the cover crop plants are growing thickly.
Green manure safeguards your soil.
Growing a Green Manure Crop
Clear the garden of old plants and weeds after any crop has been collected.
Rake the dirt and dig it over.
Depending on the cover crop, scatter the seeds at a rate of roughly 50g per square metre or according to the precise directions on the packet. Cover bigger seeds with a layer of dirt.
Water the seeds well.
Unless there is an extended period of drought, this crop requires no extra care while it matures.
Cut down your crop using a sharp spade, weed eater, or even your lawn mower as it begins to blossom, or six weeks before you need to use your garden, whichever comes first.