Green manures and the vegetable garden

Question ...

I want to use green manures on my vegetable plot between crops this season, and then over winter. I have a 3 year crop rotation in my vegetable plot:

  • Section 1 - potatoes, carrots and parsnips.
  • Section 2 - brassicas.
  • Section 3 - beans, lettuces, beetroot, onions, and leeks.

Can I use just one green manure to grow in all the cropping areas, as well as over winter, or do I need to choose two or more types?

Answer ...

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.
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