1 They're cheap and easy to grow.
2 A packet of green manure seeds is easy to carry home - unlike a large sack of animal manure!
3 They can increase soil fertility.
4 They improve soil structure and help prevent soil erosion.
5 They encourage efficient use of land. So why not grow a green manure crop on your unused land this winter?
6 Most green manure crops are very attractive to wildlife.
7 Bare soil encourages weed growth, so green manure bare ground to keep weeds in check.
8 By taking up nutrients from the soil, green manure crops prevent them from being washed away when it rains.
9 Some green manure plants (legumes) are nitrogen fixers.
10 Green manuring increases the humus content of the soil.
How does Green Manuring Work?
Traditionally, green manure crops are sown and allowed to grow, either until the land is needed again or until the plants have reached a certain growth stage. At this point, they are cut down, dug in to the soil and are left to decompose, releasing vital plant nutrients back into the soil which are then used by the next crop. Obviously, if you are using strict no-dig, veganic gardening methods, then digging the crop into the soil is not really an option.
But if you don't want to dig, then green manure crops can also be composted or used as a mulching material instead.