I do not put ads on my blog but do have a counter that shows me how many visits the pages get. (The stats. count is just there so I can see if I am 'talking' to myself, luckily so far this has not happened.) By continuing your visit here you are consenting to the stats. counter tracking cookies. Cookies, that sounds like something nice to eat but not that exciting.

Growing Your Own Fruit and Vegetables

We grow our own fruit and vegetables for our meals for as much of the year as we can. Without a greenhouse we have to buy shop food in the winter months but in the spring, summer and autumn we often have enough to share with family and friends.

Read about growing your fruit and vegetables here on my growing your own food pages.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Sowing Seeds that will Improve the Soil...Growing Green Manure Plants, cover crops

Seeds to improve the soil in your vegetable plot.  There are seeds that you can sow and grow that can improve the soil of your vegetable plot.  In the UK we call the seeds that are grown in this way - Green Manure they are sometimes referred to as cover crops.

These seeds when grown and dug in can add nutrients,nitrogen and organic matter to the soil, so they are a useful
way of soil improvement to use, in addition to home made composts and manure especially if they are in short supply.

  • Green manure seeds are selected from a range of seeds to suit the soil conditions you have.  They are also planted not only to suit the soil conditions that you have but also to serve the purpose that you are sowing them for.
  • Green manures - provide organic matter and nutrients, in the case of legumes they can provide nitrogen.

They also help to smother weeds and also they help to protect the surface of the soil and can help to stop the nutrients from being washed/leached out of the soil in the winter time.  Green manure crops can also be used to produce materials for composting.

  • How long the green manure crop is left growing in the ground depends on the type that is planted.
  • When deciding which type to sow you need to keep in mind crop rotation patterns.

Different types of green manure plants suit different soil conditions and also help combat different problems -

a useful chart on which green manure to sow

a healthy potato plant in flower

a healthy potato plant in flower
photo of potatoes in flower

home grown carrots.. grown from seed

home grown carrots.. grown from seed
photo of my first bunch of carrots 2009

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful
Home Grown Fruit can be made into delicious compote