Green Manure/Cover Crops/Mulching

Green manure is a growing cover crop of annual plants (or other growing plant material) that is dug into the soil to improve or restore fertility and soil texture. These plants are generally grown on fallow land and then dug into the soil before crops (or ornamental plants) are planted, although in some cases plants are grown in one place and the foliage and roots dug into the soil or used as mulch material in another. The cover crops used for green manure are mainly legumes. The crops both cover and protect the soil while growing, and add nutrients to improve fertility. Cover crops can add over thirty tonnes of organic matter and two hundred kilogrammes of nitrogen per hectare of land in a year. A number of different green manure cover crops are being tested at the site for suitability and impact.