On planet Earth, life began only thanks to plants. A variety of plants grow and live only to create life. With their leaves, they cover the soil surface from the merciless rays of the sun, thanks to them, compost appears on the soil surface, the soil is enriched with nutrients. The root system of plants does not allow the soil to be washed out, and their remains serve as food for microbes and worms, thanks to which nitrogen appears in the soil. It was only thanks to plants that soil appeared. Planet Earth would die in a short time if all the plants disappeared at once. Experienced farmers try to give more to the soil than they take from it, while plants are, of course, considered their main helpers. In order to make the composition of the soil better, saturate it with useful substances and improve the structure, farmers resort to the help of plants such as green manure.
Green manure is a green fertilizer that is grown specifically to normalize the condition of the soil. After the growing season, such plants saturate the soil with nitrogen, as well as nutrients and help in the fight against weeds. From the Latin language, the word "sidera" is translated as "a star receiving power from the sky." Sideration plays a very important role in organic farming.
Siderites include plants that are fast growing. After the green manure is mowed, they are either left on the surface of the soil or embedded in it, and the roots remaining in the soil after rotting will saturate the soil and subsoil with nutrients. Such plants are able to drown out weeds with their green mass and also protect the surface of the soil from the scorching rays of the sun. And also a rather powerful root system of such plants contributes to the fact that the weed cannot eat normally. Also, the roots make the soil looser, and when they rot, they improve its ability to pass and absorb water, and also have a positive effect on aeration.
So, often as siderates grow leguminous plants that are annuals (less often perennials are used), which have a very powerful aboveground part and phytosanitary properties. And also the best options for the garden will be cereals, characterized by their rapid growth and cold resistance. As well as early green manures, plants belonging to the Asteraceae or Cruciferous family are very popular.
You can sow siderates throughout the season, but most often this is done before the main crop is planted or after it has been removed. But which of the siderates are suitable for spring sowing? Plants such as mustard and phacelia require early planting. They are frost-hardy and begin to grow after the outside temperature stops dropping below freezing. Even early in the spring, you can sow spring rapeseed and rape, while it is recommended to plant vetch in the area allocated for tomatoes and peppers. Such plants, after the need arises, to plant the main crop, will need to be removed. And in this case, there are several options:
This method is considered the best for improving the soil in the event that no vegetable crops will be grown on it in a given year. Sowing is carried out in the spring, and at the same time such siderates are chosen that grow back quickly enough after they are mowed. During the summer period, siderates are systematically mowed, while it is recommended to do this before budding begins. The fact is that the largest number of nutrients is found in young shoots, and they also rot very quickly. After the grass is mowed, it is not removed from the site.
It is recommended to sow rye in autumn, as well as mustard. Sowing of these plants is carried out after the vegetable crops are removed from the site and, as a rule, this time falls on the end of the summer beginning of the autumn period. The growth of mustard does not stop until the very winter frosts, and its green is covered with a snow cover. In spring, it is necessary to cut the mustard using a flat cutter, and on top of the remaining tops, you need to plant the main vegetable crop. In autumn, it is necessary to harvest the rye even before the spikelets appear. To do this, it must be chopped up along the tillering node, located at the very surface of the soil. The green mass can be left on the surface of the soil or put in compost.
Crops of green manure are divided into:
Experts say that plowing "green fertilizer" allows you to improve the structure of the soil much better, as well as to avoid compaction of the arable layer. Another siderates contribute to the improvement of water permeability and moisture capacity. All this contributes to the activation of microbiological processes. It is recommended to bury or plow the "green fertilizer" 7-14 days before the main crop is planted. It should not be forgotten that the green manure must be mowed or cut before the budding period begins. But those who applied this method in practice believe that as a result of digging or plowing green manure, microorganisms that plants need disappear, and this also leads to a violation of the structure of the soil. They advise to cut off the "green fertilizer" with a flat cutter, going 5 centimeters deep into the soil, and the cut shoots must be evenly placed over the surface of the garden bed and mulched from above in order to avoid drying out. The cut tops of the green manure over time become compost, with the release of a large amount of nitrogen. The root system, which remains in the soil, gradually decomposes due to microorganisms and earthworms, resulting in the formation of humus. It is especially not recommended to plow winter green manures, since in this case about 80 percent of green manure impact is lost. After cutting or beveling the "green fertilizer", it is laid out on the surface of the soil in winter. In spring, the snow will melt, and you will not see these plants on the site, but the soil will be very loose.
HOW TO QUICKLY IMPROVE THE SOIL WITHOUT DIGGING? SEEM SIDERATY !!
If you are looking for a versatile green manure plant that could be used on any site and for all crops, then you are unlikely to find this. No specialist will be able to name this siderat. Any of the plants needs a certain green manure. Moreover, each of the siderates has its own special purpose. In this regard, it is simply impossible to single out the best among them. For example, oil radish, rye, lupine, oats and phacelia are considered the best "green fertilizers" for soil. For strawberries, it is recommended to choose rapeseed, buckwheat, oil radish and mustard. For sowing before winter, rape, oats, and also winter vetch, rye and rapeseed are most often used. In this regard, it is worth getting to know each group of green manure plants better.
These include - clover, alfalfa, lentils, peas, seradella, lupine, sweet clover, vetch, combo, soybeans, chickpeas and beans. The most popular are:
These include oil radish, rape, mustard and rapeseed. The most popular are:
These include oats, rye, wheat, and barley.
Only one representative is buckwheat. It is a fast-growing plant with a very large root system, sometimes up to 150 centimeters in size. This plant promotes deep loosening of the soil and a decrease in its acidity. It also contributes to the enrichment of poor soil with potassium, phosphorus and organic matter.
Representatives are sunflower and calendula. The sunflower has a large root system that reaches two meters in length. This plant gives a lot of green mass, and it is not demanding on the soil.
The only representative is amaranth.
These include the phacelia, which is a member of the aquifolia family, and a valuable honey plant. The plant is fast-growing, it has developed root systems, and also grows a large amount of green mass. Not demanding on light and ground, and also cold-resistant. Improves soil structure and increases breathability.
In spring time, green manures are sown in furrows, and in autumn, they are simply scattered over the surface of the soil, and mulch is laid on top of them. If desired, they can also be sown in special grooves in the fall, but at the same time, the seeds should be planted no deeper than 3-4 centimeters. The most popular are such winter siderates as oats and rye.
There are also several plants that are used more and more often as green manure every year:
If potatoes are planted in the same place every year, then the soil can be depleted quite quickly. When the crop is harvested, peas, oats, and also white mustard must be sown on the site to restore the soil. Leave the green manure in the winter. In spring, the grown "green fertilizer" must be cut off, while the flat cutter is buried by 5-7 centimeters into the soil. Early potatoes can be planted after 7-14 days. In spring, you can sow oats, phacelia and white mustard at the same time, but only if you have not sowed green manure in the area since autumn. Already a few weeks after sowing, these green manures are cut with a flat cutter before planting the potatoes. As a rule, this falls in mid-May. When the crop is harvested, "green fertilizer" is sown on the site again.
All horticultural crops need regular feeding. This is necessary for full growth and development, flowering and fruiting. Expensive chemicals are not always available or negatively affect product quality.
To obtain organic, environmentally friendly products, it is necessary to use natural methods, the use of natural ingredients for agricultural work. Therefore, the greening method is recognized as the most effective and affordable way of soil enrichment.
Siderata are any plants that, when grown, enrich the soil organic and mineral substances, increasing its fertility. In addition, such plants are able to improve soil structure and inhibit weed growth.
Such plants got their name from the Latin word sidera. Translated, it means "a star that draws strength from the sky."
All green manure can be divided into 3 large groups according to their lifespan:
These plants are very quickly gaining green mass... Plants that have gained strength are always mowed. Then they are either buried or left on the surface of the soil. In the latter case, the cuttings will protect the upper fertile layer.
The powerful roots of these plants not only loosen the soil, but also serve as a good source of mineral and organic matter needed to fertilize the soil. Moreover, their roots suppress the root system of weeds, improve water and air permeability of the soil.
It is noteworthy that not so long ago the agrarians of our country did not know anything about the beneficial properties of green manure, and now they are sown with thousands of hectares. Even ordinary gardeners began to actively use these plants in their personal plots to obtain a richer harvest.
Green manure crops when grown on the site have a positive effect on the condition of the soil:
Many gardeners do not even dig up green manure grasses, so as not to destroy the topsoil and not kill beneficial microorganisms. Instead, they cut off the green mass, and the rest is transferred to the rank of fertilizers, watering with special compounds.
In addition to the general beneficial effect, green manure for the garden can significantly improve the composition of the soil, depending on its initial state. It is recommended to use certain types of plants for each type of soil:
Potatoes in this row should be highlighted, since they are planted with large areas, which requires laborious plowing efforts. Green fertilizers enable the practice of no-till farming, which saves energy, time and, last but not least, money.
An excellent crop rotation gives oats on a potato plot. It is planted in grooves in early spring without general digging of the site. If grass has already grown on the site, it is not required to remove it, the grooves can be made only by slightly moving it apart. Subsequently, it will become part of the humus.
When it comes time to plant potatoes, the biomass is mowed without harvesting. Small depressions are made for potatoes, which are then sprinkled with earth. Natural oat mulch inhibits the growth of weeds and protects shallow tubers from the sun's rays to avoid greening.
Digging such potatoes is easy and fast, it turns out clean and large.
After harvesting the root crops, the area is sown again with oats. After several years of such a crop rotation, the structure of the land becomes much better, and the yields are consistently high.
With a competent approach to the use of green manure, you can not only get higher yields with less effort and resources, but also turn your personal plot into a full-fledged ecosystem in just a few seasons.