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Quick question on the actual cutting of the green manure. When I ran the lawn mower over my grean manure, mostly oats I found that it got all mushed out and not much got left behind for mulch, kinda got caught up in mower. I did leave the catcher off too.
It has actually now grown back, which is great, but almost ready to be cut again, hence the question. How do you cut your green manure? I thought more should be left behind as mulch…
Kristy, I have cut mine back with hedge shears, about 4 inches (100mm) at a time. Other times I just chop it up with a spade before roughly turning the soil over.
Don’t forget there is a massive amount of vegetative material in the root mass too. This all adds organic matter to the soil.
Thanks Steve I forgot about the root mass, so I think I will just continue to mow it, especially as it seems just to grow back quickly again. Using the hedge cutters for about 300 sqm might take a while… lol
The other question is later on should I let it go to seed so that it will regrow back next winter? Someone said in summer the oats will die off and I will need to plant something else or should I just keep mowing before it seeds and then when it dies plant another green manure.
I hope this makes sense what I am saying… Allow to self seed or not and how to know the timing?
What about using a whipper snipper? That would leave in in larger pieces and not just clog up the mower.
I’m not an expert but I wouldn’t think there would be much advantage letting it go to seed (especially oats). Any seed that drops would be eaten by birds or mice I would think.
Much better to replant each season I would think.
But if you are going to have a permanent green manure crop, why not use something like lucerne that you can cut and drop. More a living mulch than green manure.
The CSIRO used to do a clover/lucerne kit. Not sure if they still do. I think it was called ‘Clever Clover’ or something similar.
I should read the whole thread before replying. There is a link to the Clever Clover kit on Page 1 of this thread. Diggers supply it…
Thanks Steve, whipper snipper good idea, and thanks re advice about letting it go to seed.
I think I will plant lucerne in summer or whenever the right time is. I noticed that has a lovely purple flower. Is this one good to let to flower and seed?
Thanks again Steve 🙂