right ok ,
no probs with perlite , the only prob with perlite is long term
not an issue for a single grow only when you constantly re-use the soil/pot/plot
i use 7-10mm scoria ,scoria is good stuff because of all the lill holes for organisms to shelter in
maybe this will help on the green manure info
a fertilizer consisting of growing plants that are ploughed back into the soil.
PETER CUNDALL, The Weekly Times
May 6, 2015 12:00am
LIKE most traditional gardeners I cannot stand waste. So I’ve been gathering together old,
half-used seed packets to empty them into a bucket.
It was a large collection of relatively outdated seeds, most of which would certainly germinate.
They included several bean varieties, peas, lettuce, silverbeet, brassicas and sweet corn.
The seeds are ideal for chucking over recently cleared and roughly dug vegetable beds to supplement a green manure crop.
Right now is a perfect time to sow any kind of green manure seeds while the soil is still warm.
This is probably the easiest and most valuable way to enrich soil and the resulting green manure does most of the work.
The finished result, well ahead of spring sowing and planting, is a healthy, balanced soil crammed with nutrient-rich organic
matter and teeming with earthworms and beneficial micro-organisms.
The final reward is a superb combination of magnificent fertility in soil that also holds and retains moisture like a sponge.
The traditional green manure seeds to sow in autumn or early winter are those of leafy annual grasses such as barley, wheat, feed oats and ryecorn.
All grow strongly through winter to provide enormous quantities of bulky organic matter.
Always include plenty of legume seeds too, including the unused contents of old bean and pea packets.
However the most valuable of all winter-grown legumes for green manure are tic-beans (an extremely vigorous legume, closely-related to broad beans) and annual lupins.
While leafy annual grasses provide excellent organic matter, the legumes also replenish nitrogen taken up by previous vegetable crops.
They do this by means of special roots that are able to interact with soil micro-organisms to extract and “fix” nitrogen from soil atmosphere.
As these valuable fertility-creating legumes grow, the collected nitrogen can be identified as great clusters of pale, wart-like nodules clinging to their roots.
I like to include mustard seeds to the mix, not only to take advantage of the leafy material produced, but also because they have roots
that can provide useful control over eelworm or nematode infestations.
Mustard root systems are able to influence nematode eggs, causing them to hatch out prematurely while soils are still cold.
This is a useful way to help clean up infested soils before main crops go in during spring and summer.
My method of sowing a mixture of green manure seeds is old-fashioned, simple and even a bit primitive.
I simply walk over the ground scattering the seeds generously in all directions. They just fall to the ground and lie over the slightly-cultivated surface.
This is followed by a generous scattering of any kind of well-rotted animal manure, straight over the top.
Best fertilisers of all include that marvellous decomposed stuff from beneath shearing sheds or well-pulverised cow manure and of course my favourite: blood and bone.
Green manure seeds don’t need to be buried. It’s an easy task to simply rake the surface so they are either partly-covered or at least thoroughly dirtied.
A good rainfall during the next week will give the crop a flying start — otherwise use a sprinkler to get them started.
If sown during the next couple of weeks, a green manure crop will have germinated by the end of the month.
By mid-August most plants will have become a dense, knee-high mass of weed-suppressing foliage with the tic-beans even taller.
That’s when the lot are smashed down while still soft and sappy to be immediately dug in. Always use a fork for this job so earthworms are unharmed.
Once buried, this soft, green stuff rots with incredible speed.
By late winter or early spring, the first vegetable seedlings can go in or seeds sown.
And you’ll be amazed at the extraordinary vigour and disease-resistance of the plants.
Even better is the greatest reward of all, the wonderful quality and flavour of your vitamin and mineral-rich organically grown vegetables.
Edited by itchybromusic, 11 July 2018 - 06:19 PM.