3 Green fertilizers for the Orchard and Fruit Trees: Very useful

In this article we will talk about green manures and their importance for the orchard and fruit trees. Green manures are a very ecological and sustainable solution to improve soil fertility in a natural way.

What is a green manure?

Green manures are a type of manure or fertilizer to improve the substrate . As you know, fertilizing the soil is adding products or materials that contain elements with which plants are nourished or «fed» to grow, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium…
Fertilizing the soil makes the plant develop properly, that its fruits and usable parts grow more and better, and that it be stronger and healthier when it comes to overcoming pests and diseases.

There are many ways to enrich the soil. We already saw some of them in the post 5 ways to fertilize the organic garden, in which I told you about organic materials that contain these nutrients and that are alternatives to artificial chemical fertilizers, which we buy packaged. One of these ecological fertilizer materials is green manure, a cheap way to fertilize the land with organic matter.

Green manures are plant remains buried in the soil that decompose within it, nourishing it little by little. We have already seen that organic matter, the remains of «something alive», such as manure, compost or earthworm humus or, in this case, green manures, are very suitable materials to fertilize the soil because they contain good nutrients for the plants. floors.

In the post » Green manure for the organic garden « I told you about other benefits of growing green manures in addition to plant nutrition, and, in case you dare to do so, the steps to follow when growing plants such as fertilizer (when to sow, when to mow and bury them…). Take a look!

What plants to use as green manures

There are plants that, due to their high nutrient content, their type of growth and/or how they decompose in the soil once cut, are more suitable for use as green manure. Many of these species belong to the cruciferous, legume or grass families.

I already told you about some of the most common in the previous post, now we are going to talk about 3 types of green manures that are interesting for a special reason or for a specific crop, such as fruit trees.

Clovers are widely used as green manures.

1. Carob, a winter and drought-adapted green manure

Carob or Vicia monantha is resistant to cold so it can be sown in autumn and buried in mid-spring. This will serve as a fertilizer for the new spring-summer crops that will be sown or transplanted a few weeks later.

Furthermore, as it is a legume, this plant will fix nitrogen from the air into the soil, so it will greatly improve poor soil or one that is «exhausted» because demanding crops such as tomatoes, aubergines, potatoes, etc. have been previously grown on it.

2. Alfalfa, deep-rooted, to maintain good soil structure

Like clover or carob, alfalfa is a legume that will provide extra nitrogen to the soil. The roots are very deep, so it will help loosen the soil and be able to capture nutrients from deep layers, which would otherwise be wasted because many other plants cannot reach them. Nutrients that later, when the green manure is cut and buried, will remain incorporated into the soil and will be available to the plants in the garden.

It grows in most soils and is also drought resistant, so you can plant it in spring intercropped with crops and fruit trees, but also in autumn.

3. Long-lasting green manure intercropped in fruit trees

This will permanently protect the floor. For this case, the best is a mixture of several species to create green manure. One of them must be interesting for the contribution of nutrients (legume) and the other for the contribution of organic matter or vegetable matter (grasses).

Some examples:

  • Vetch + fodder radish
  • Plant low-growing legumes (such as clover) interspersed with grasses (corn for example) once the latter are a bit grown.

So far today’s post, do not miss the following: » What plants to grow in the garden «, in which I talk about many of the plants, in addition to the typical ones, that can be grown easily and that are useful for us and also to maintain a healthy garden, including green manures of course! All the best.

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