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Tracey Cole

Tracey Cole

Enrich your soil with Green Manure!

These plants don’t just look good, they improve your plot in a multitude of ways!
Green manures do a great dual-purpose job in the vegetable plot and flower borders, then, when eventually dug in, they act as convention manures by adding valuable nutrients to the soil.


When planted in amongst vegetables as companion plants green manures act as weed suppressants, help retain moisture in the soil and attract pollinators, which, in turn, will pollinate crops. An added bonus is their low root system helps take the hard work out of digging by ensuring soil is not too compacted. A definite plus factor!

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Broad beans (Vicia faba)

Broad Beans are ideal to sow for green manure. The flowers are a magnet for bees, and the crop of beans is prolific! After harvesting the beans cut down the remaining plant and lightly turn the soil.
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Mustard (Sinapis alba)

Mustard (Sinapis alba) is a large leaved plant and the Red Mustard has gorgeous deep-red edible leaves. As the mustard plant is classed as a brassica do remember crop rotation so shouldn’t be followed by any other brassica to prevent the spread of club root.
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Crimson Clover (Trifolium pratense)

Crimson Clover (Trifolium pratense) is a short-lived perennial, usually grown in early spring through to autumn. It has lovely flowers, but, when used as a green manure it is usually dug in before it flowers. Maybe keep a patch to enjoy and a patch to use!

Green manure is a brilliant, organic method to improve the quality of your soil, protecting your plot from erosion by water and wind, keep weeds at bay and providing a wealth of essential nutrients, particularly nitrogen, to the soil.

After the green manure has been dug in, leave the beds for around 2 weeks to allow the green material to decay.

Healthy soil means happy plants!

More advice and articles :

We at village gardens have a knowledge of all of your local edible plants here in South Africa. We can happily plant up your garden with edibles of all varieties from Mediterranean herbs and local indigenous edibles. We are surrounded by such stunning hardy indigenous plants, let’s get back to nature and have our own garden of local goodness.

Landscaping and garden designs in Cape Town and surrounds…..

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