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close this bookBio-Intensive Approach to Small-Scale Household Food Production (IIRR, 1993, 180 p.)
close this folderSoil management
close this folderGreen manuring
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View the documentNitrogen-fixing trees
View the documentCharacteristics of Some Nitrogen-fixing Trees
View the documentCover crops
View the documentSome cover crops successfully used by farmers
View the documentCover crops as soil conditioners

Cover crops as soil conditioners

In heavy clay, cover crops add humus and stimulate microorganisms to-loosen rock-hard compaction and create a crumbly, well-aerated and well-drained soil structure.


In heavy clay

In sandy soils, the extensive, deep-penetrating roots of cover crops bring up needed nutrients that have leached into the subsoil. As the nutrients decompose, the matted roots give the soil enough body to hold onto nutrients and water that otherwise would quickly drain below the reach of plants.


In sandy soils

In nitrogen-deficient soils, velvet bean, hyacinth bean, jackbean and winged bean treat nitrogen deficiency.


In nitrogen-deficient soils

In dry conditions, cover crops maintain lower soil temperatures and, thereby, conserve microorganisms and earthworms, and generally conserve the soil's organic matter and humus.


In dry conditions

Reference:

Quick Ways To Better Sail. 1990. Organic Gardening Magazine. 16 pp.