Posted by: ssorrrell | July 22, 2007

Green Manure as Disease Preventative

The standard advice to disease on tomato plants and plants in general bores me and I started to think it was wrong.  For the most part in America, a diseases plant is hopeless.  Chop it down and remember your lesson (“spray and rotate to prevent”).  this however, is not the case in many places around the world.  Some who can’t afford herbicide, pesticide, and fertilizer.

I started my search looking for a natural way to fight disease in tomatoes; specifically bacterial wilt.  What I found repeatedly were ways to fight wilt in commercially-grown organic potatoes.  Potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants are all in the same nightshade family.  So, a remedy for one is probably a remedy for others.

The process involves rotating mustard then wheat through potato fields.  In fact, there are some specific Italian mustards (from Italy not descriptive) to improve the soil by adding organic matter and preventing common potato pests.  It’s possible to drastically reduce fertilizer and eliminate fumigant.  These reductions are mostly offset by purchasing mustard seed.  The soil is much improved and very resistant to wind erosion.

I’ve seen it suggested that other green manures can provide advantages to other types of crops besides nightshade.  There was less hard info this.  If I find more I’ll post again.

These 3 American links seem based on one potato farmers experience
The New Farm
The yellow revolution

University of Idaho
Management of Oilseed Radish and Yellow Mustard Green Manure Crops

Washington State University
Green Manuring with Mustard; Improving an Old Technology

Australian Links
Tasmanian Rural and Marine Industry Profiles
Emerging and Other Field Crops

Department of Primary Industries
Organic Farming: Which Green Manure Should I Grow?
Lists many green manures and uses

Canadian Links
Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food
Frequently asked Questions – Green Manuring with Legumes


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