Sowing green manure in raised beds

It took me many years to realise that the bits of garden that actually poke out of the soil are the fripperies really and that the soil itself is the bit that requires the most work. Green manures are often recommended to stem tide of weeds in the spring until you’re ready to plant, as well as because they can fix nitrogen back into the soil rather than leaving it bare to be washed away by the rain. What with all of the glass in the soil we imported to fill our raised beds and the problems that came with that, I didn’t have a chance to sow any winter crops outside which is a shame. Not only a shame but an expensive waste of money if the soil were left out exposed to the rain which would wash away all of the nutrients. IMG_2772However the problem was that it was so late in the year that nothing would germinate but the hardiest seeds. So sadly it was far too late for mustards or leagues or any of the easier green manures when it comes to digging in. No, winter rye was all I was left with and sadly I was too late for about a third of the beds.

So I’ve sowed them all and those that have germinated will be left to grow and those that haven’t will be covered in leaf mould and cardboard (finally a use for all the Amazon boxes cluttering up the place).

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The rye grass that is coming up looks pretty tough so hopefully it’ll do a good job of protecting the beds before we dig it all in next year, and it’ll probably provide us with a decent workout too!

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We farm a three acre smallholding in Hampshire, England, having fled London in pursuit of the good life for our little family. We mess about with an assorted menagerie and try to be as self-sufficient as possible in meat and fruit and vegetables whilst enjoying our plot and an outdoors lifestyle with our son. I am the luckiest person that I know.

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