Green manures

Things were busy at Genus HQ this week.  One of the first jobs was to get our onion sets and garlic into the ground.  With several of the raised beds cleared in previous weeks, it wasn't long before three beds were planted up with the Garlic ‘Provence White’, shallot ‘Jerome’ and Onion ‘Radar’.

While there, we also cleared a few beds - broccoli had gone to seed (pictured) and our runner beans had reached the end of the race.  With the beds vacant we decided to overwinter them with green manures.  Green manures are specially selected seeds that help build up the organic matter and improve soil structure. They bring nutrients up from the lower soil levels, prevent leaching of nutrients, and supply nitrogen and other nutrients when the crop is dug in.

Several beds were sown with a winter mix comprising ryegrass and tares, two other beds were sown with just tares.  Green manuring is a new process to us and we’ll report back on progress at a later date.

While in the vegetable garden we took advantage of the fine weather and sowed a bed of perpetual spinach.  If it’s quick to germinate there's every chance we’ll have a particularly early crop next year - maybe even to have young leaves to add to salads next month.  The lawns of course still needed cutting and the remaining tomatoes required watering due to the  particularly mild weather.  We finished the day with butterflies busy in the orchard and honey bees foraging in the flower garden.  Was this really October?