Tuesday, 1 April 2008


We all know that compost is garden gold - but it can be hard to produce enough of the stuff for the demands of a garden and allotment - and it can be very pricey to buy in bulk

A cheap and sustainable way to improve your garden soil is by growing a green manure.

Several plants can be grown as green manures: Try fenugreek, field lupins, broad beans or clover for a spring or summer planting. These will grow to usefully smother weeds that might otherwise threaten to engulf the bed - as well as adding nutrients to the soil.

For an autumn planting, try rye or Mustard.

Broadcast sow directly into an empty flowerbed. Once it has grown to form a lush, carpeting green crop (and before it flowers!) it should be dug directly into the soil, improving its organic content and the soil structure. Decaying green manures can suppress plant growth so allow at least two weeks between incorporation and planting or sowing.

Nothing could be simpler - all you need for this approach is a bit of time.

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