CHOP DOWN GREEN CROPS FOR MULCH

The Bay Chronicle - - GARDENING -

If you’ve grown green ma­nure crops over win­ter, chop them down be­fore the stalks get woody or they flower and set seed. It’s usu­ally rec­om­mended to dig them in so they’ll break down over 5-6 weeks in time for plant­ing spring crops. But soils are of­ten too wet and puggy to dig. Al­ter­na­tively you can chop and drop – just let the cut fo­liage lie on the sur­face as mulch. I avoid dig­ging al­to­gether so the soil pro­file isn’t dis­turbed and I don’t have the space to let beds lie empty while the green crop breaks down. In­stead I shred my green crop (peas usu­ally) with what­ever prun­ings are on hand and spread the lot as mulch around the next crop that’s planted. spurge. An up­turned hang­ing bas­ket stops me walk­ing on them and will pro­vide sup­port for the leaves as they grow. Watch out for seedlings too. If you have grown co­rian­der, dill, nigella, prim­u­las, cerinthe and many other an­nu­als, you’ll find ba­bies like the vi­o­las pop­ping up. They’re easy enough to move to a new spot or they can be grown on in a seed tray while you de­cide where to put them.

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