Marvellous Manures

IMG_20150831_145908I’m not even talking about the animal kind here: this is a quick post in praise of the legume. I’ve managed to be reasonably on it this year when it comes to green manures, and under-sowing crops with clovers etc; Persian clover went in the Vole Tunnel after the leeks, as usual; and I’ve just cut them down, ready to turn in next week before planting out the next lot of salads for winter. It was a great crop, about half a metre high, with tons of sweetly scented lilac flowers that bees and hoverflies went mad for.

We also managed to undersown yellow trefoil under the brassicas, broadcasting the seed a month or two ago, after weeding the plants and before the brassicas covered up the ground too much. This has taken well, and is will wait patiently until there is more light once the crop has been harvested, before it goes mad.

IMG_20150827_140811Likewise, our own mix of trefoil and clovers looks great under the squashes and pumpkins; and once the foliage dies back (which it started doing a couple of weeks ago, autumn certainly feels early this year), they will cover the ground well, and protect the soil from winter damage and erosion – as well as capturing nitrogen from the air for the plants, which will then go back in the soil once incorporated in spring.

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