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Green Manure

Vegetable Garden

Phacelia – not just a green manure

July 22, 2011

Phacelia - Not Just a Green ManureI adore Phacelia. It’s pretty, delicate flower attracts hoverflies as well as many types of bees into our garden.  It’s easy to grow, hardy and it self seeds. Phacelia is a green manure that can be sown into vegetable gardens when they would otherwise be left empty.

phacelia flowerIt improves the soil if the plants are dug in or cut before they flower and left on the top of the soil to break down.

I’ve never managed to do this. The promise of a garden full of the colourful spikey flowers is too great.

 

When the flowers come to an end the seeds start to form, uncurling in a way that resembles barley.

phacelia & nasturtiums

This year I got carried away and sowed Phacelia in our flower beds too. Along with the borage, (another self seeding, bee attracting plant) it’s taken over so this afternoon’s job is to head out with my scissors and cut stems to fill vases all around the house, filling our rooms with it’s scent before clearing the rest of the plants away to the compost heap.

phacelia

 

Have you tried growing green manures? Do you have a favourite?