Improving soil fertility is a major focus for gardeners. It’s even better when we can get plants to do the work for us. The healthier the soil the more productive it will be. One way of taking advantage of the cooler seasons and improving the production capacity of the garden is to sow a green manure crop now.
Field peas are one of the most versatile and easy to grow green manure crops –
- They are a legume and will fix atmospheric nitrogen in nodules in the soil which is readily available to future crops.
- When dug in while the plants are at flowering stage the nutrients in the leaves and stems will compost rapidly, improving water holding capacity and fertility of the soil.
- Plants can be left to grow onto production stage and as it finishes can be laid down over the soil to act as mulch shading the soil from the searing summer heat.