Posted by: ssorrrell | September 27, 2007

Results of the Green Manure Plantings

Over the past three months I’ve put various green manure seed out; crimson and white clover, banner bean, oats, and common vetch. The only reliable seed is the banner bean. Oats are growing in one of the ground beds where the seed was able to hide among the decomposing sunflower stalks. In other areas, I haven’t noticed the seed sprout or if it does it fails within days.

The banner beans are great. They usually sprout where you put them. There are several plants about 6-8 inches high. None were planted thickly like the oats or clover. I don’t know if this will be a problem.

When I noticed this green manure succeed I started looking for the reason. It seems banner beens have a taproot, do well in compact clay soil, and survive cold temperatures. The large seed size and taproot are probably the source of success. Bugs and snails haven’t been too much of a problem either. Definitely, will be planting again.

I planted seed in several more places around the yard to see what kind of conditions they will sprout in and how the winter affects them. Some are at the base of the baby oak, the magnolia, and one of the large flower beds. It has beautiful tulips and daffodils in the spring.

The books say banner beans get to 4 ft and produce a lot of green matter. It will be interesting to see this. Large, winter, nitrogenating annuals would be very helpful. I wish I could find a few winter hardy company green manures to go along with the beans. It may be too late this year.

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