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How to grow green manures

Green manures are quick growing, so the process is simple. You sow, they grow - and then you dig them in. Use our growing guides and in just a few weeks green manures can benefit the soil.

Frequently asked questions

  • It is better to use a range of green manures, as they fit into different plant families. Here are some suggestions.

    • Fenugreek - Legume family; frost tender; short to medium term green manure for late spring to late summer use (depending where you are located) Good weed control.
    • Phacelia - not related to any vegetable crops. Good for short or medium term use. May survive the winter in warmer areas.
    • Tares - Legume; winter hardy. Good for sowing in August/ early Sept to overwinter. Good weed control. Good before brassicas as they provide extra nitrogen in the soil.
    • Field beans - Legume; winter hardy. Only worth growing if you want to sow something as late as November.
    • See also the Garden Organic web page which has full information on green manures Green Manures | Garden Organic

  • One gram of soil (about 1/5 tea-spoon) can contain over 100 million bacteria, 1 million actinomycetes and 100,000 fungi. The weight of these organisms would only account for 0.05 percent of the weight of the soil. The size of a single bacteria is approximately 1 micron or 1 millionth of a metre - 100,000 bacteria placed end to end would measure 1 cm.