Winterizing the Vegetable Garden

Green Manure for Beds and Ground

This winter I’m trying out the concept of green manure. What is that, you ask? Green manure is an organic way to fix nitrogen into your soil that has nothing to do with the business end of a horse. Using a cover crop in fallow patches has the benefit of fixing the soil with needed nutrients and nitrogen. In the spring, all you have to do is cut it down and incorporate the roots into the existing soil. Viola – instant soil amendment!

The two I’ve selected to use, based on the pH values of the garden are Crimson Clover and Mammoth Red Clover. As you can see on the photo, each seed was selected based upon the pH of the various soils in my garden. The raised beds are alkaline, the Crimson Clover works best in that soil condition. The ground soil is quite acidic so I’ve selected the Mammoth Red Clover to use in that soil.

Green Manure - Mammoth Red Clover

The seeds were quite big and I simply spread by hand a generous amount over the beds, covered them lightly with compost and watered well.

Green Manure

So far, the cover crop is doing well in the raised bed and I look forward to seeing the results come the Springtime.


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