Slow painting

Friday, 3 September 2010

Phacelia


Apart from the over-abundance of blackcurrants, our most successful crop this year has been the Phacelia green manure. This is how it looked two weeks ago.


When I go along to the plot today I'm expecting to find it in flower. Bad news. It's meant to be cut down and dug in before flowering, otherwise it sets seed liberally.

The solution, I think, will be to ask man-with-strimmer to strim the tops off. I'll then rake them up and put them into the compost. It might still be warm enough to wait and see if it will come again, but if it doesn't I'll dig it in.

I have another area that will soon be read for green manure, and I'm wondering what to try there. Perhaps one of the ryes, which can be September sown, or a vetch. The field beans I sowed last year weren't a great success. Tall, thin plants which didn't suppress weeds, seeded very freely, and had such tough stems that they were almost impossible to dig in. They were popular with the bees tho, so I suppose that's something in their favour.

6 comments:

RobD said...

I grow a small patch of this every year just to attract the bees - they love it. As you say though it does self seed very well, which hasn't been a problem until this year when I want to move it...

Jo said...

I've never used green manure. It's put me off after reading some people's bad experiences of it such as your's last year. I hope you manage to catch this one before it flowers.

tina said...

That groundcover is just beautiful. I'm not familiar with it but Googled it and the flowers are even pretty. Of course, no need of it going to seed if it is a green manure. I am thinking of using ryegrass as a green manure here in some of my veggie beds. Never used it before but it seems to have beneficial outcomes? Hmmmm, thanks for making me think about it this morning (evening for you I guess). Have a good weekend.

RainGardener said...

That is a very pretty green groundcover. Why the name green manure?

Linda said...

Hi RainGardener, it's called green manure because you dig it in to the soil at a certain point and it does beneficial things like fix nitrogen or improve the soil texture.

donna said...

Your crop of Phacelia green manure makes for a gorgeous photo.

donna