Why Organic Farmers Should Use Green Manure
The term “green manure” is one that comes up a lot in farming conversations. This is because green manure for organic farming is one of the most powerful tools available. When most people hear manure, they probably think about cow dung. You could not be more wrong when the discussion is about green manure.
Green manure is also a plant itself. To put it simply, green manure refers to plants that are grown and turned into the soil to add fertility to the field and improve its overall quality. These crops are grown for the sole purpose of serving as manure. They are cut after a period, and are then plowed into the soil or simply left in the ground. Plants such as clover, vetch, annual ryegrass, peas, alfalfa, and winter wheat can be used as green manure.
Difference between Green Manure and Cover Crops
While they share certain similarities, there is a clear difference between green manure and cover crops. These terms are wrongfully used interchangeably sometimes, leading people to believe that they mean the same thing. We will explore the similarities of both terms, helping us to outline their differences.
What are Cover Crops?
Cover crops like green manure are plants grown to add fertility to the field and improve soil quality. These crops along with improving fertility also provide insulation protecting the soil from the elements. Cover crops protect the soil from erosion and the wind, while also improving water infiltration and soil structure.
Green manure, on the other hand, are cover crops that have been plowed into the ground, to add fertility to the soil.
Difference Between Cover Crops and Green Manure
The major similarity between cover crops and green manure is that they are both grown to improve soil fertility. Their difference on the other hand lies in their application. While cover crops are left to provide insulation for the soil, green manure is plowed into the soil.
Advantages of Green Manure for Organic Farming
There are advantages of green manure for organic farming. Some of which are:
- Provision of Important Nutrients: Green manure adds nutrients such as nitrogen to the soil after breaking down. These nutrients aid plant growth.
- It helps to prevent erosion keeping the soil in good shape.
- It ensures that nutrients are available for the next planting season.
- It helps to reduce leaching.
Green manure is very effective when used properly. Knowing the difference between cover crops and green manure helps you further in determining what is good for your garden or farm. Overall, it is important to always pay attention to the needs of your garden.
Crop Fertility Services can provide you with all the help you need regarding green manure. With over fifty years of valuable experience in organic farming, we are best placed to give you all the tips that you need for productive farming.
Choosing your green manure, tending it, and making the most of your harvest is made easier with CFS in your corner. Call 612-309-7522 today, or fill out our quick contact form to learn more.