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What plants do you use for green composting?

Posted by Norway_ralph 6 (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 19, 13 at 1:39

I have been green composting in the late winter/early spring for the last couple of years. I generally use broad beans (fava bans) , due to their frost tolerance and germination in soil down to 2 degrees C (35F), which allows me to turn them in before spring vegetables are ready to plant out.
I am thinking of trying a couple of other varieties for green composting (radishes, based on their fast growth rate and mustard greens for the high rate of leaf production ) and am interested to hear what other people recommend as green composting plants.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What plants do you use for green composting?

I think, if you are in zone 6, probably it is too ate to grow any cover crop that can be tilled in as green manure.
Other than beans, most gardeners plant rye, annual grass, clover, fenugreek. But for spring growing it is another thing.

Another point is that you would want to grow things that their roots are nitrogen fixer or their foliage is rich in nitrogen. I don't think, for example, radish is one of those.

RE: What plants do you use for green composting?

I use a lot of cover crops, and in late summer and fall I love mustard greens best. You can take a couple of cuttings for the freezer, then chop in whatever is left before the first hard freeze.

It's late to plant seeds, but I have a couple of flats of crimson clover plugs, started from seed in early Sept, that I'll use as bed-sitters through the winter. They will have to be covered with wire cages or the deer will eat them.

I have some oats holding seed now, and I'll let that stand and winterkill. In winter, I throw chunks of it to the chickens. My austrian winter peas are four inches tall -- as tall as they will get until spring. Favas are not winter hardy for me, so I use austrian winter peas instead. The tendrils are good eating, but I pull the plants and compost them just as they start blooming in late spring.

RE: What plants do you use for green composting?

A few years ago harry vetch was all the rage. I don't recall reading about it recently.

RE: What plants do you use for green composting?

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Sun, Oct 20, 13 at 17:34

Ralph I can't say if it is too late in your part of zone 6 or not but it isn't here in my part. We just planted a mix of turnips and radish in several beds middle of the past week. Normally they will do well into mid to late January and we till them in then weather permitting.

Two of the other garden beds get planted with various deer fodder crops - winter peas, clover, chicory.etc. and all work well for green manures.


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