Siderat is specially grown in the off-season in vegetable gardens to improve the structure of the soil. This is especially true for soybeans, corn and sunflower crops. After them, the earth needs compulsory nutrition.
Purpose of siderates
Green fertilizers perfectly improve the structure of the soil, enrich it with essential microelements, and increase productivity without the use of chemicals. Siderata can be grown all warm season in the interval between harvesting one crop and planting a new one, in early spring and autumn until the very frost.
Siderata were used in agriculture by the ancient Romans, farmers of China and India. They knew about their properties to increase the fertility of the earth, reduce its acidity, and restore organic matter in it.
How green fertilizers work
Planting oats and wheat as green manure contributes to a decrease in density, an increase in soil permeability. This is especially true for the southern regions of Russia with hot summers. Embedding green mass in the ground at the beginning of summer reduces moisture evaporation from its upper layers.
Many small branching roots help to loosen the soil. There is no need to dig up green plantings. Rotting, they form passages in the ground through which moisture and air penetrate.
Advantages of wheat and oat green manure
It is good to plant wheat and oats to revive the soil after harvesting vegetables. Planting them restores potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus. In highly depleted areas, before planting green fertilizers in the ground, it is enriched with a mineral complex.
Cereals are popular among gardeners for their fast germination. They grow green mass quickly. Their seeds sprout as soon as the ground begins to thaw. Therefore, they can be sown even in winter, late autumn.
What grains and when to sow
Wheat has about 400 species. Durum wheat is more demanding on moisture; for good growth, they need watering. Soft varieties are helped by their highly branched roots. The winter variety surpasses the spring one in terms of yield.
There are varieties that are resistant to fungi and mold. But for sod-podzolic soil, which are located in Eastern Europe and Western Siberia, wheat green manure is not used. Before planting cereals, it is worth deciding which of the varieties is more suitable for a given area.
In the fall, it is convenient to sow winter wheat with winter oats. A mixture of oats and radish improves the resistance of crops to various types of diseases. Cereals of fast germination are a good fertilizer before sunflower. They are buried in the ground by the end of April. If you are late with incorporation, the soil will be dry.
Winter cereals are good for soil restoration after sowing potatoes and maize. For highly depleted soils, for their restoration, planting of siderates is carried out 3-4 times during 1 season.
Before planting cereals as siderates, the soil is cleaned of weeds, determined with the sowing depth. It is different on different soils. For example, for sandy soil, the embedding depth is 7-9 centimeters, for clay and loamy soils - 3-4 centimeters.
On heavy soils, the seeds are planted smaller than on light soils.Since it is difficult for seedlings to break through dense soil. To protect against pests, the seeds are soaked in a weak solution of potassium permanganate before sowing.
After harvesting vegetables, green manure is first planted, then watered. If you do the opposite, the grain will rise with a delay of 1-1.5 weeks. Such a green mass can be dug up in September.
Grain green manures are a good alternative to chemical fertilizers.