What are the siderates

What are the siderates

"Live mulch" - green manure helps to reduce labor costs and increase yields. Part 3

Read the previous part of the article: What are siderates and what they are. Using green manure as live mulch

Photo 1

The next group of green manure crops in my "classification" is crops for near-stem circles of fruit trees, row spacing of currant bushes, gooseberries. They can also be grown as main crops in free or recently vacated beds (for example, after harvesting winter onions or garlic, in the place of a school that is vacated or planned for next year).

On my site from this group, I grow phacelia and buckwheat. These grasses are not as cold-hardy as cruciferous crops, so I sow them in mid-late May. By this time, the manure with which I cover the near-stem circles of fruit trees and the ground under shrubs is already half decomposed and is excellent for growing green manure biomass.

Already a week after sowing buckwheat, the land under the bushes and fruit trees is covered with a dense carpet of green manure. Two weeks after sowing, this is already a dense cap of a pale green foliage that is unlike anything (see photo 1).

Photo 2

And how beautiful is the blooming phacelia! I really love this unpretentious herb for its graceful irregularity of the leaf and the delicate aroma of bell flowers. In addition, both plants are excellent honey plants, and if you are the happy owner of your own apiary, then you simply cannot do without these crops!

The same group includes sunflower - a culture undeservedly forgotten in our region. Yes, it makes no sense to grow it for oil, at least on an industrial scale, but as a green manure it is a unique plant, primarily because it belongs to the C-4 group, i.e. possesses the most effective photosynthetic apparatus, which means it will give a lot of green mass.

Photo 3

I was prompted to use this green manure by my favorite sparrows and titmice, very carelessly dining in their feeders. As a result, green clumps of young sunflower formed around the plum, on which the feeder hung. I strongly advise everyone to take a closer look at this unusual culture for us.

And the last group of green manure is winter green manure. There are not many of them in our area. I have only used two cultures so far.

This is, first of all, winter rape. She is good to everyone, only in recent years her seeds have become scarce. Not found in any store. Last fall I decided to sow winter rye, although I knew that this culture is quite difficult from the point of view of the practice of organic farming, because develops in the spring such a root system that you can hardly take it without digging or a cultivator.

Sowed immediately after harvesting potatoes, having previously walked "Kozma" and spilled the entire field with phytosporin solution. I sowed in rows - scattered I was afraid because of fear of getting additional difficulties due to its root system. In early October, the potato field turned green with young rye

Photo 4

I was very afraid that the rye would get wet, because the site is low with a close standing of groundwater. But everything worked out, and in early spring I saw the same joyful green picture. Only the bushes have become stronger and more dense. For another month I looked with apprehension at this rapidly growing greenery, thinking what I would do with it when the time for sowing came.

At the beginning of May, I decided to grab a piece of the potato field and sow turnips with lettuce there. Fortunately, the rye was still young enough, and "Kozma" coped with it in 5 minutes (see photo 2).

By the time it was time to plant the potatoes, the rye had grown above the knee. Without thinking of anything smarter, I took a trimmer and mowed it at the root.

She planted the potatoes right along the stubble in small holes, spudding them with a hoe so as to cover the stubble in the rows, and cut them off in the aisles. The soil under the stubble was lively and moist, despite the long heat and dryness. And this is how the field looked after planting potatoes (see photo 3).

I would not wish this kind of work for anyone. But what can you do - the first experience. Next year, I am going to buy a cultivator attachment for a trimmer in order to pass through the potato field, covering the green manure to a shallow depth.

Photo 5

We have considered "cultural" siderates. And now let's look at the "uncultured", or rather, at what Mother Nature can give us.

First, it is lupine (see photo 5). I beg you not to be surprised and not to be offended by me for taking him to this group. But it really grows here like a weed on an abandoned neighbor's plot, which does not diminish its benefits in the least.

The most valuable property of lupine is that it has a highly developed nitrogen-fixing ability. He eats well himself and feeds others. Early in the morning, when the sun rises, I take a scythe and go for a free harvest. It is better to mow in the early morning when the grass is juicy. And the scythe goes easily, and there are more benefits from plants.

Having mowed the whole clearing, I make small haystacks with a rake, and then, together with my son, we take out the mowed grass to us on wheelbarrows (see photo 6). Some people prefer to put the cut in compost, but I have been lining potato aisles with it for several years, saving moisture and food accumulated by cut green manure.

Photo 6

In the most remote corner of my site around the compost heap, another natural green manure grows - nettle. There is so much use in it that sometimes I seriously think about whether I should plant it along the fence? Every week in the spring and early summer I prepare an ash and nettle talker for my garden pets: a third of a 20-liter bucket of fresh nettles, half a shovel of ash, and a bag of Shining 2. I add the latter when I cook the chatter for the first time. I never use the whole chatterbox, leaving the leaven for the next time. Tomatoes and peppers are very fond of such a cocktail, and even cabbage with cucumbers after a nettle dinner will thank you with all the colors of an emerald!

Unfortunately, not only I like cabbage on my site. But also slugs. If you do not defend yourself, there will be lace on the stump instead of cabbage. And here the nettle helped! This year for the first time I tried to "spud" cabbage with a nettle cut. I cut a whole bucket of nettles with ordinary scissors and spread the grass around the young stumps.

A week later, I slightly poked the cabbage and again covered the ground with nettles (see photo 7). And now the cabbage stands without a single hole! And it is not at all necessary to constantly add fresh nettles, because slugs are not happy with dry thorns.

Photo 7

If you look "at the feet" of my raspberries, then you can see everyone so unloved dream. Of course, you don't need to leave it in flower beds or in a garden with carrots, but it works great in the aisles of raspberries. The main thing is not to start.

I think many people know that raspberries have a very vulnerable, shallow root system with an increased requirement for soil moisture and coolness. Therefore, I never weed raspberries, but cut the weeds at the level of the soil with ordinary scissors in the phase of a young rug - let them also work for the harvest!

Irina Vezhenkova,
prize-winner of the competition "Summer Season - 2008"

What green manure to sow in summer?

Some of the green manure is best used in the summer. They will be most beneficial if sown:

  • after harvesting early crops: garlic, onions, early potatoes, cucumbers, etc.
  • in the aisles of growing crops
  • in the tree-trunk circles.

What green manures are most suitable for sowing after the summer harvest?


From legumes, peas, alfalfa, vetch and clover are suitable for summer sowing.


Peas improve the structure of the soil. It has draining properties and saturates the soil with air. Promotes nitrogen accumulation. Peas are early ripening crops, but they need to be sown before the 10th of August. In this case, you will have time to embed it in the soil before the onset of frost.


The plant will be most beneficial in acidic soils, because it has the ability to reduce acidity. If you want alfalfa to grow green mass quickly, provide plenty of moisture.

Vetch saturates the soil well with nitrogen and microelements. Promotes soil loosening and weed control. It is better to sow it not one by one, but in combination with other green manure. It grows poorly on acidic soils with a lack of moisture.


One of those crops that accumulates nitrogen in large quantities. After embedding in the soil, it enriches it with minerals. The main condition for growing is moist, but without stagnant water, soil.

Cruciferous crops

Of the cruciferous crops, white mustard is most suitable for planting after harvest.

Mustard white

One of the most popular siderates. Mustard has long been proven to be effective against such a dangerous pest as wireworm. It can also have a negative effect on the causative agents of late blight, tuber scab and other potato diseases. For this reason, mustard is sown in those areas from which it was harvested or where potatoes are planned to be planted next year. It has a good effect on clay soil: it makes it looser, contributes to air saturation.

Borage crops

From borage crops, phacelia is used as green manure.


Phacelia has a very short growing season, so it can be sown both in summer and autumn, after harvesting the latest crops.

Absolutely unpretentious to the soil. It easily tolerates adverse weather conditions: both drought and frost down to –9 ° C. Heals the soil by reducing the number of pests (such as nematodes) and pathogens of various diseases. Phacelia effectively fights weeds.

Sowing green manure in place of the vacated beds, you will kill several birds with one stone. Improve the structure of the soil, protect the empty area from weeds, and enrich the soil with substances useful for plants.

Siderat price

The cost of green manures varies depending on the seed producer, their shelf life, and the region of sale. The dependence on the type of green fertilizer has already been considered. The purchase volume also affects the price.

Wholesalers get discounts. Affects the cost and yield of the siderates themselves. Despite their unpretentiousness, there are unsuccessful years for some species. If the seed is scarce, its price increases.

Considering the consumption of green fertilizers and the fact that they need to be sown tightly, they sell seeds, often in kilogram packages. There are also packs of several kilos. Small packaging is the rarest. However, the presence of small packages depends on the type of green manure, because there are those that require a little more than 100 grams per hundred square meters.

Soil green manure methods

  • Complete fertilization. The biomass is buried in a thickness of 3-6 cm. They are used together - both roots and shoots.
  • Mowing fertilizer. Mow the green biomass and close up.
  • Aftermath fertilizer. Only the root parts are used. The above-ground part is cut off and used in another area or for the formation of compost piles.

The sideration method ensures the introduction of the necessary elements, prevents the depletion of the fertile layer.

Green herbs are used in the form:

  • Natural organic biomass. To do this, they are plowed into the surface layer.
  • In the form of humus or compost. Mixed with fallen leaves, tops of waste and composted.
  • Like mulch. Mowed stems and leaves are laid out in the beds.
  • As a liquid fertilizer. Bionastoi are prepared on the basis of fermentation for 8-10 days.

What are the siderates. What siderates to sow

Which green manure is the best for your garden? It depends on many things: the type and acidity of the soil, its structure and composition, the season and other factors.


The most popular green manure plants are:

- cruciferous (oil radish, mustard, rapeseed)

- cereals (rye, wheat, barley, oats)

- legumes (lentils, peas, soybeans, lupine, clover, sweet clover, spring vetch, alfalfa)


Enriches the soil with organic matter, phosphorus and sulfur. Possesses fungicidal and bactericidal properties. Mustard cleans the soil from late blight, scab, black leg, drives away the wireworm, and attracts beneficial insects. Germinates quickly, quickly gains green mass and forms a powerful root system. You can sow at any time. Maximum effect in two weeks!

The root secretions of mustard contain sulfur, which is very disliked by bears, beetle larvae, wireworms (click beetle larvae), slugs and other soil-dwelling pests.

The pivotal root system of mustard penetrates to a depth of 2-3 m, thereby increasing the moisture content and air permeability of the soil, as well as forming its structure. It is one of the best crops for protecting soil from water and wind erosion in spring and autumn.


- universal green manure. It grows on any type of soil, even stony and sandy, is not afraid of drought, shading, or frost (it can withstand temperatures as low as -9 ° C). Fourth, it displaces weeds. Miracle siderat, in a word.

Can be a precursor to any vegetable crop. Enriches the soil with organic matter, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium. The greatest effect is obtained when sowing in a mixture with legumes. Loosens the top layers of the soil. Unsurpassed honey plant, attracts beneficial insects. Irreplaceable assistant in the orchard.

In addition to all of the above advantages, phacelia has phytosanitary properties, it scares away wireworms, nematodes and prevents the development of pathogens of fungal and viral diseases. If you do not know which green manure is best for your soil, plant phacelia, you will not lose.

Cold-resistant plant, enriches the soil with organic matter and potassium. Oats inhibit the growth of weeds, loosen and structure the soil well. Suppresses soil pathogens. Used in mixture with vetch.

This green manure is good in that it gives easily digestible potassium to the soil, which means it can be an excellent precursor for potassium-demanding vegetables: tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, etc.

Oats as green manure are best suited for acidic and peaty soils, grows worse on salt marshes and sandy soils. The roots of oats contain substances that destroy the causative agent of root rot. Oats are also good at suppressing weeds.


Buckwheat is one of the record holders in terms of growth rate, it quickly reaches a height of half a meter, and even manages to grow 1.5 meters of roots. This green manure is not afraid of drought and does not dry out the soil. Very often buckwheat is planted in the near-trunk circles of fruit trees and bushes.

Buckwheat leaves behind colins (substances that inhibit the development of subsequent plants) less than other green manure plants. Buckwheat is recommended to be used as a green manure on poor, acidic and heavy soils. It will grow anywhere, and after mowing will significantly enrich the soil with phosphates and potassium.

Suppresses perennial weeds, especially wheatgrass. Seed consumption rate per one hundred square meters: 600 grams. Buckwheat is sown in late spring, in May, as it is thermophilic. Mow the green mass before flowering. You can sow buckwheat before winter.

Enriches the soil with organic matter, phosphorus, sulfur. Loosens the soil. Carrots sown after rapeseed grows large and sweet!

Against nematodes (small worms like a thread up to 3 mm, found in almost all crops) and wireworm, rape crops will help.

Growing up to a height of 1.2-1.5 m, rapeseed green manure prevents the growth of weeds and enriches the soil with organic matter, phosphorus and sulfur


  • One of the basic rules of green manure is that the soil is not dug up after the green manure. The roots remain in the ground, where they rot and release many nutrients into the ground.
  • The growing green mass is mowed as soon as it grows 15-20 cm. It is not allowed before flowering. The green mass can be cut and mulched for planting vegetables, etc. Can be added to compost.

  • Siderata are not allowed to overgrow. In this case, the stems of plants become tough, rough, their rotting in the ground is delayed and can serve as a source of the spread of infections and diseases for cultivated plants.

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