Green manure properties for growing cultivated plants
Siderata are fast-growing annual plants that allow you to get environmentally friendly products, improve the soil and ensure a good harvest. They saturate the earth with nutrients and improve its aeration. Without them, it is difficult to imagine organic farming without the use of chemicals.
Green fertilizers play an important role in organic farming, and amateur gardeners use them mainly when growing vegetables in their backyard. Green manure provides the soil with a large amount of organic matter, which gradually turns into humus. The remains of plants decompose within two seasons, due to which the soil will be enriched with micro- and macroelements necessary for the development of cultivated plants.
Green fertilizer properties:
- promotes the formation of a loose soil structure, reduces its compaction, since the roots capture the top layer of soil;
- help the roots of the subsequent crop to penetrate deeper due to the deep penetrating root system of green manure;
- transform nutrients for the next crop into hard-to-reach places;
- during the decomposition of organic residues, CO2 and organic acids are formed, which supply the soil with nutrients, turning into humus;
- reduces the leaching of easily soluble nutrients;
- improved soil nitrogen supply;
- protects the soil from water and wind erosion and silting;
- with sufficient planting density and development, they can suppress weeds.
Green manure is sown before or after sowing the main crop throughout the season. They are periodically mowed and buried 1-2 weeks before planting the main plants.
Siderates are periodically mowed
There are many different types and, most importantly, do not use the main crop and fertilizer of the same type. Also, the same green fertilizers are not planted 2 years in a row.
Note! It is best to apply vegetable fertilizers to a bed that will not be used in a given year after harvest. Winter crops are sown in autumn to leave them in the beds for the whole winter. As a result, processes are activated in the soil that have a beneficial effect on the growth and development of the main crop.
In early spring, you can sow mustard, colza, spring rape, phacelia. Summer planting is planned on a site where crops are not grown during the year. Any seeders will do. In June you can plant vetch, in July radish, in August mustard.
Cruciferous plants contain a lot of essential oils that greatly inhibit the development of diseases such as black leg, root rot, various wilts, and downy mildew. In the process of growth, green manure releases into the soil a large amount of specific glycoside substances that inhibit the growth of harmful plants.
In autumn, after harvesting, rye is most often used as a fertilizer. It is cut before the appearance of spikelets. If the soil is poor in nitrogen, then it is better to plant legumes. To loosen the top layer, oil radish is better. Mow them without waiting for the start of flowering. The cut grass is not removed from the site, but dug up.
The benefits of mustard for the soil
Mustard, like green manure, accelerates crop rotation, renews the soil. It produces a sufficient amount of organic matter and absorbs sparingly soluble minerals. It is able to store nitrogen, and convert phosphorus and potassium from hard-to-reach forms into easily soluble ones.
Mustard heals the soil: in the decaying residues, the rapid growth of beneficial microflora begins, displacing pathogens. Green manure releases chemicals that can be toxic to soil pathogens and pests such as nematodes, fungi and some weeds.
Mustard heals the soil
Mustard usually has higher concentrations of these chemicals. That is why it is a good green manure for all types of plants, besides it is easy to grow, it does not need special attention.
If you plant mustard in the aisles of the garden, the codling moth and aphids will stop spoiling the crop, and there will be much less weeds. Also, thanks to it, the number of wireworms and slugs decreases, the growth of mold fungi and bacteria stops.
When to sow mustard as green manure
Mustard can grow in almost all types of soil, in a sunny and sheltered position. It grows very quickly, the growth time is one and a half to two months. It is not picky about the acidity of the soil, but 6.5 pH is considered the optimal level.
Additional Information! The best predecessors for mustard are rye and wheat. Do not plant a crop after cruciferous and flax. since they have common diseases and pests that can destroy seedlings. It can be affected by white rust, powdery mildew and clubroot.
Mustard plants are unpretentious and frost-resistant, tolerate frosts down to -5 ° C. Mustard can be sown in early spring and closer to autumn, and if left for the winter, it will retain a large mass of snow, which is very useful in spring.
[ Mustard is sown
Once sown, it sprouts very quickly and then grows vigorously, making it an excellent plant for weed suppression. In spring, a favorable soil condition develops on a site fertilized with mustard, and the humus content in the soil becomes noticeably higher. In the spring, young greens are dug up and cultivated in the ground.
Watering is recommended in too dry climates, as it does not tolerate drought well. Mustard has a shallow root system. The soil on which it grows should not dry out. In dry periods without watering, it will grow much worse. Does not require additional dressings.
It is sown 1–1.5 weeks before the main crop, as rotting mustard inhibits the development of seedlings. The seeds of the culture are small, so they are scattered around the garden plot, slightly covered with earth. If planted deep, they will rot before they germinate. Seedlings appear on the 5-7th day after sowing. Blooms about six weeks after germination,
Note! It is very important to mow the mustard before flowering begins. With the appearance of peduncles, the stems become stiff, and they will rot for a long time. During flowering, mustard takes nutrients from the soil, and loses its function as a green manure. The mustard, which has formed seeds, turns into a weed plant.
Types of mustard
There are three varieties: white, brown and black. All varieties can be used as green manure.
White mustard features
White (Sinapis alba) brings the greatest benefit for the garden, as it develops quickly and is not demanding on the soil. The plant on the site is able to free the earth from phosphates, accumulating them in stems and greenery.
The root system, shoots and leaves contain nitrogen. Due to its rapid development, it quickly covers the ground – these are the properties of green fertilizers. Its seeds and leaves are as fragrant as those of black, so the culture is mostly used as a green manure.
Black mustard green manure and honey plant
Black mustard is grown commercially. The plant has biocidal properties that are useful in the treatment of certain fungal diseases present in the soil, such as late blight and fusarium.
Change of black mustard
To do this, it is sown as a green manure and embedded in the form of biomass in the soil. Timely planted and well-chosen green manure will bring great benefits to the garden, and significantly improve the composition of the soil.