View Full Version : Green Mulch - What is best.
24-11-2003, 07:16 PM
My small acerage property (1 acre) is on the north side of Brisbane. Unfortunatelly the soil is pretty poor. This does not concern me greatly in the long term - as many of my gardens will be planned as no dig gardens. However I feel it may be usefull for some of my future plots - which will not be no dig - to grow some green manures while I am working on composts for my no dig gardens.
Does anyone have any recommendations for green manures that do alright in decomposed granite soil with very little organic matter in it. I may of course have to improve the soil a bit before I can even grow the green manure - what do you think.
Lucerne/alfalfa is a deep rooted nitrogen fixing legume that would be well suited to your area. You can buy it by the kilo at rural stores.
Comfrey is also a good green manure crop as it has deep roots that bring up nutrients from the ground. It's leaves are very high in potassium and makes an excellent liquid fertiliser when rotted down with animal manure and water.
Big Scrub Land Management Services
Ph. 0413 724 635
05-12-2003, 03:11 AM
Hi Veggie boy
you can use cow pea in the summer months and dunn pea or maple pea and vetch in the winter months. Buy them by the klio in farm supplies and make sure you buy a packet of inoculant appropriate for each seed type, mix it as described on the packet this will ensure really good nitogen fixation as the inoculant has the right root bacteria to associate with that seed type. Always over sow and over innoculate if you can to recover a veggie garden or create a new one in poor ground. Just cut the cover crop at any stage of growth and mulch the cut tops and plant your veggies straight in with some manure, compost and extra mulch additions, don't dig in the mulch and don't dig up the roots of the cover crop just plant straight in. If you don't get to plant your veggies before the end of the season just sow the next seasons cover crop into the dieing previous seasons cover crop then cut and mulch on top of the new seed.
Happy Planting, we have just planted some veggies today in the Dead Sea Valley in Jordan.
:cool: :cool: :cool:
05-12-2003, 08:59 AM
Hi Veggie Boy,
I can vouch for the Cow Pea... i planted some when lived in Brissie. I found a couple of things that impressed me about it. One thing it will do is self sow if you let it go to seed which if your planting out a large area with it(which you seem to have) you can save your own seeds also. Or, you can also just chop it when it gets about 30cm... after that it will start to go to seed.... and let it break down where it falls. That allows you to sow a large area of your block and just work on the areas that you have time for while slowly improving the rest of your block.
Another thing is that i let keep growing in a bed and just cut it whenever i wanted some composting material. I scattered Basil seeds straight in that bed by just rubbing the seed heads in my hand and did nothing else. I got a decent crop of Basil from it whilst in the middle of summer and stopped it from bolting straight to seed b/c it had some shade to grow in. Two crops in one! :D
A good produce/rural store owner will give you a lot of info of what you can sow and when(as has already been stated).... plus a good follow up crop after. We can take advantage of a long growing season in Qld that is why i used Cow Pea.... Lab Lab is similar to it also. You should be able to get two crops one after the other.
This rain you should be getting in Brissie at the moment would be a good time to sow some seeds!
As for me.....my land is quite healthy so can go straight into using Pintos Peanut for some of my chook runs for fodder and as a cover crop for my orchard areas. I just bought some Kudzu which is a plant i hadnt heard of b4. It has the potential to be a weed.... as do a lot of things we use!.... but has very rapid growth.... can be used as fodder, mulch, attracts bees, and will climb over my chook fences. It's also know as 'Mile a minute' which denotes its ability to grow very quickly.
Good luck and let us know how you get on.
11-12-2003, 08:41 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions. I didn't end up waiting for any responses before I went and bought 500 grams of alfalfa (from Eden Seeds, innoculated for use as green manure). Haven't got around to planting any yet - missed a prime opportunity with all the recent rain in Brisbane.
I will take all the other green manure crop suggestions on board. I'm yet to find a produce shop that sells any of the suggested seed - let alone innoculant - and am therefore forced to purchase from a seed supplier (with the associated postage expenses). Mind you I went mental when I saw the Eden Seeds catalogue, buying over 20 different types of seeds (mostly new stuff I haven't done before, including pigeon pea,rice bean and leaf amaranth and grain amaranth).
If anyone knows of a produce supplier or whatever in Brisbane that sells green manure seeds and innoculants then please let me know the details. Best if they on the Northside of Brisbane - but I guess I can travel.
After all the rain I started digging my first veggie garden here. It will consist of 4 beds - enough to start a small rotation. The possitive is that the soil appears much better than it did when I just dug a few sample holes. There are quite a few worms, the soil is quite deep and is definitely a loam. It will still need significant organic matter to bring it up to scratch so I intend to proceed with the green manure trials.
Thanks for all the advice and keep it coming. :)
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