There is a developing interest in improving UK soil. Green manures can be used to build fertility, improve soil structure, suppress weeds and prevent soil erosion.
Some can be combined to conform to catch and cover crops for Ecological Focus Areas under the ‘greening’ regulations; others are just good green manure crops. It is best to incorporate leafy material that will break down quickly in the soil. Too much fibrous material can absorb nitrogen in the process of breaking down in the soil.
To qualify for use in EFA the seed must be a mixture of at least two different cover crop species that establish quickly, achieve ground cover and will effectively use available nutrients. Any percentage of a sown mix can be used, so long as there is a visible mix of at least two different crops containing at least one cereal (eg Rye, Barley, Oats) and one non-cereal (eg Common Vetch, Hairy Vetch, Phacelia, Fodder Radish, Mustard, Lucerne, Tillage Radish).
The mixtures detailed below are solutions to regularly requested scenarios. They are divided into non-hardy mixtures for autumn biomass and hardy blends which will also bulk up in the spring for grazing or ploughing in biomass. Contact Field Options for further mixture details and more advice.