I sowed grazing rye as a green manure last autumn, and it grew very well. So well in fact that it's too tough and I can't dig it in. I want to plant potatoes in the patch where the grazing rye is, so how do I deal with it?
Chop the top growth off the rye. Use a sharp spade or hoe, or even shears, and leave the foliage to die down on the soil surface. Don't worry about the roots - they'll rot down naturally. Why not use a no-dig method for the potatoes? That way you'll smother the rye and prevent any re-growth. Once the rye has been chopped back, just make small holes to plant your seed potatoes, then cover the whole area with a layer of hay or straw as usual.
Garden Organic members can get access to our useful organic guides:
- Factsheet on no-dig gardening
- How to grow potatoes in a no-dig system
- How to grow green manures in the vegetable garden
Access to these factsheets requires members' password.
Find out more about Garden Organic membership
Garden Organic also produce a Step-by-Step Guide to Green Manures, which is available from The Organic Gardening Catalogue (price£1.35).