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Video: What Are The Siderates
2023 Author: Sebastian Paterson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-24 11:24
"Live mulch" - green manure helps to reduce labor costs and increase yields. Part 3
Read the previous part of the article: What are siderates and what they are. Using green manure as live mulch
The next group of green manure crops in my "classification" are crops for near-stem circles of fruit trees, row spacing of currant bushes, gooseberries. They can also be grown as main crops in free or recently vacated beds (for example, after harvesting winter onions or garlic, in the place of a school that is vacated or planned next year).
On my site from this group, I grow phacelia and buckwheat. These grasses are not as cold-hardy as cruciferous crops, so I sow them in mid-late May. By this time, the manure with which I cover the near-stem circles of fruit trees and the ground under shrubs is already half decomposed and is excellent for growing green manure biomass.
A week after sowing buckwheat, the land under the bushes and fruit trees is covered with a dense carpet of green manure. Two weeks after sowing, this is already a dense cap of unlikely pale green foliage (see photo 1).
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And how beautiful is the blooming phacelia! I really love this unpretentious herb for its graceful ruggedness of the leaf and the delicate aroma of bell flowers. In addition, both plants are excellent honey plants, and if you are the proud owner of your own apiary, then you simply cannot do without these crops!
The same group includes sunflower - a culture undeservedly forgotten in our region. Yes, it makes no sense to grow it for oil, at least on an industrial scale, but as a green manure it is a unique plant, primarily because it belongs to the C-4 group, i.e. possesses the most effective photosynthetic apparatus, which means it will give a lot of green mass.
I was prompted to use this green manure by my favorite sparrows and titmice, very carelessly dining in their feeders. As a result, green clumps of young sunflower formed around the plum, on which the feeder hung. I strongly advise everyone to take a closer look at this unusual culture for us.
And the last group of green manure is winter green manure. Not many of them exist in our area. I have only used two cultures so far.
This is, first of all, winter rape. She is good to everyone, only in recent years her seeds have become scarce. Not found in any store. Last fall I decided to sow winter rye, although I knew that this culture is quite difficult from the point of view of the practice of organic farming, because develops in the spring such a root system that you can hardly take it without digging or a cultivator.
Sowed immediately after harvesting the potatoes, having previously walked "Kozma" and spilled the entire field with a phytosporin solution. I sowed in rows - scattered I was afraid to get additional difficulties because of its root system out of fear. In early October, the potato field turned green with young rye
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I was very afraid that the rye would get wet, because the site is low with a close standing of groundwater. But everything worked out, and in early spring I saw the same joyful green picture. Only the bushes have become stronger and more dense. For another month I looked with apprehension at this rapidly growing greenery, thinking what I would do with it when the time for sowing came.
At the beginning of May, I decided to grab a piece of the potato field and sow turnips with lettuce there. Fortunately, the rye was still quite young, and "Kozma" coped with it in 5 minutes (see photo 2).
By the time it was time to plant the potatoes, the rye had grown above the knee. Not thinking of anything smarter, took a trimmer and mowed it at the root.
The potatoes were planted right along the stubble in small holes, spudding them with a hoe so as to cover the stubble in the rows, and cut them off in the aisles. The soil under the stubble was lively and moist despite the long heat and dryness. And this is how the field looked after planting potatoes (see photo 3).
I would not wish such a job for anyone. But what can you do - the first experience. Next year, I am going to buy a cultivator attachment for a trimmer in order to pass through the potato field, covering the green manure to a shallow depth.
We have examined the "cultural" siderates. And now let's look at the "uncultured", or rather, at what Mother Nature can give us.
First, it is lupine (see photo 5). I beg you not to be surprised and not to be offended by me for taking him to this group. But it really grows here like a weed on an abandoned neighbor's plot, which does not diminish its benefits in the least.
The most valuable property of lupine is that it has a highly developed nitrogen-fixing ability. He eats well himself and feeds others. Early in the morning, as the sun rises, I take a scythe and go for a free harvest. It is better to mow early in the morning when the grass is juicy. And the scythe goes easily, and there are more benefits from plants.
Having mowed the whole clearing, I make small haystacks with a rake, and then, together with my son, we take out the mowed grass to us on wheelbarrows (see photo 6). Some people prefer to put the cut in compost, but I have been lining potato aisles with it for several years, saving moisture and nutrition accumulated by cut green manure.
In the most remote corner of my site around the compost heap, another natural green manure grows - nettle. There is so much use in it that sometimes I seriously think about whether I should plant it along the fence? Every week in the spring and early summer I prepare an ash and nettle mash for my garden pets: a third of a 20-liter bucket of fresh nettles, half a shovel of ash and a bag of Shining 2. I add the latter when I cook the chatter for the first time. I never use the whole chatterbox, leaving the leaven for the next time. Tomatoes and peppers are very fond of such a cocktail, and even cabbage with cucumbers after a nettle dinner will thank you with all the colors of an emerald!
Unfortunately, not only I like cabbage on my site. But also slugs. If you do not defend yourself, there will be lace on the stump instead of cabbage. And here the nettle helped! This year for the first time I tried to "spud" cabbage with a nettle cut. I cut a whole bucket of nettles with ordinary scissors and spread the grass around the young stumps.
A week later, I slightly poked the cabbage and again covered the ground with nettles (see photo 7). And now the cabbage stands without a single hole! And it is not at all necessary to constantly add fresh nettles, because slugs are not happy with dry thorns.
If you look "at the feet" of my raspberries, then you can see everyone so unloved dream. Of course, you do not need to leave it in flower beds or in a garden with carrots, but it works great in the aisles of raspberries. The main thing is not to start.
I think many people know that raspberries have a very vulnerable, superficial root system with an increased requirement for soil moisture and coolness. Therefore, I never weed raspberries, but cut the weeds at the level of the soil with ordinary scissors in the phase of a young rug - let them also work for the harvest!