The best types of green manure for potatoes

The best types of green manure for potatoes

To obtain a good harvest of potatoes, it is necessary to monitor the condition of the soil and fertilize it in time. Modern industry produces a large amount of chemical fertilizers for these purposes, but after their application, the crop will no longer be environmentally friendly and safe. In order to enrich the soil with useful substances and increase its fertility, but at the same time not to conflict with the ecology, it is necessary to sow siderata together between the rows of potatoes.

What are siderates for potatoes for?

Siderata belong to natural fertilizers... After their planting, the soil is plowed, as a result of which the green mass is in the ground. There it begins to decompose, resulting in the release of useful micro and macro elements.

During the season, you can significantly increase the supply of humus in the upper soil layer.

In addition, the top layer will be enriched with such elements necessary for potatoes as:

  • potassium
  • nitrogen;
  • phosphorus, etc.

It is necessary control the amount of growing greenery, since if there is a lot of it, then not decomposition, but acidification of the plowed vegetation will occur. This can lead to the multiplication of pathogens.

Siderata not only fertilize the soil and fill it with the necessary nutrients. They also help to get rid of the most common diseases and pests that affect potatoes.

How to prepare the soil

Siderata, like any crop, require preliminary soil preparation before planting. After harvesting, the land is leveled with a rake or other tool, and nitroammophos (at the rate of 10 liters per hundred square meters).

If the acidity of the soil is increased, then you can add a little lime... Very dry soil must be watered before planting green manure. For these purposes, it is better to use a shower head. Only then can one proceed directly to sowing seeds and embedding them.

How to deposit

The time for sowing green manure is chosen depending on the purpose for which they are introduced to the site. If the plants are designed to repel pests, then you can sow seeds right in the aisles... In this case, you will need to periodically cut them to prevent the seeds from ripening.

Sowing siderates in spring is carried out immediately after the snow has melted.

They should be fairly cold-resistant, since these plants are already cut by the time the potatoes are planted. Autumn sowing involves the treatment of the soil and its enrichment with useful microelements for the next season. All the necessary measures are carried out after the harvest is harvested and the site is completely free.

Why do they bring in in the spring

When sowing siderates in spring, potatoes will gradually receive nutrients from their decomposition throughout the entire growth period.

Sowing is done immediately, as soon as the snow melts and the earth starts to warm up. Crops must be cold hardy.

In the spring, it is very good to sow plants such as:

  • mustard;
  • rape;
  • rye;
  • oats;
  • phacelia.

You can also use siderates, which will grow at the same time as potatoes, enrich the soil and repel pests.

They can be:

  • legumes;
  • calendula;
  • nasturtium.

Can I plant in autumn

If you did not manage to fertilize the soil in the spring, then it is quite possible to do it in the fall, thereby taking care of the future harvest.

The autumn sowing of green manure will not only fertilize the land, but also suppress weeds, contribute to the saturation of the soil with oxygen, reduce the number of pests.

When calculating the timing of sowing, you need to think about the fact that before the onset of frost, the crops must have time not only to ascend, but also to grow. Otherwise, they cannot be used as fertilizers.

Most often, the following plants are used as autumn siderates for potatoes:

  • mustard;
  • radish;
  • oats;
  • alfalfa;
  • phacelia;
  • rape.

Moreover, it is especially appreciated mustard, since it is she who tends to grow rapidly even at low temperatures. But the oats can later not be mowed, but the potatoes can be planted directly into it. In this case, the dried plant will serve as mulch and protect the crop from the negative effects of the external environment.

How to choose

The key criterion when choosing green manure for potatoes is the general condition of the soil. It should be loose, with a sufficient amount of minerals, free from pests and diseases.

Unfortunately, one plant species is often not able to solve all problems. For this, use combinations of several plants.

In order to increase the fertility of the soil and its fertilization, they are planted at the place of growing potatoes legumes... It is they who relieve gardeners from the need to use fertilizers of inorganic origin and saturate the earth with all the necessary microelements.

In the fight against pests (wireworm, late blight) it helps well mustard or colza... But to scare off the Colorado potato beetle, it is good to plant flax.

Also, green manure will help to cope with the main weeds. To do this, sow on the site buckwheat, nasturtium, radish, clover, alfalfa.

Which green manure is best for potatoes

This is not to say that any particular green manure is better for potatoes than others. Each plant fulfills its function, so it is best to combine them and make a mixture when sowing.

However, there is also a universal option - phacelia... It is frost-resistant, quickly gains green mass and is able to provide the soil with good air permeability. That is why this plant has gained immense popularity among gardeners.

Can I plant if the soil is infected with pests or fungi?

Potatoes should never be planted in contaminated or diseased soil. Before landing, such a site must be cure... DO NOT rush and resort to chemical treatment. Siderates can come to the rescue.

Natural healers can be:

  • oil radish;
  • mustard white;
  • rape;
  • rape.

These plants not only heal the soil, but also get rid of peststhat are in it. In especially infested areas, you can leave seedlings in the aisles. Thus, phytosaniters will do their job throughout the season.

Types for potatoes


Legumes are rightfully considered one of the best green manures, which have the ability to saturate the soil with useful trace elements.

It is worth paying attention to viku... It is a climbing annual, which not only prevents soil erosion, but also significantly improves its structure. It has proven itself well on neutral soils.

A plant like sweet clover can not only improve the structure of the soil on the site, but also help in the fight against nematodes and wireworms. Thanks to its powerful and branched root system, it is able to extract useful substances from the very depths of the earth.

It is best to plant in the fall and leave the plant for the winter. This will achieve the maximum effect.


Cruciferous plants are used not only as a natural fertilizer, but also as soil treatment agent... They help fight viruses and pests.

Most common in this group mustard... It has the ability not only to quickly build up green mass, but also to loosen the ground, improve its structure. After mowing, it acts as an excellent fertilizer, and in the process of growing it protects the site from weeds.

Deserves no less attention and oil radish... Thanks to the powerful root, the plant loosens the soil well, helps to retain moisture, destroys pathogenic microbes, and fights well against fungal diseases. Has the ability to inhibit weeds. When decomposed, forms a large amount of nutrients.


Cereals are very successfully used as green manure.

Rye attracts the attention of gardeners due to cheap seed and undemanding soil. When decomposed, it forms a large amount of organic fertilizers, but cannot fix nitrogen in the soil.

If applied as a green fertilizer oats, then you can replace it with one crop of 200 kg of manure per one hundred square meters. This plant is able to improve the structure of the soil, helps in the fight against weeds, nematodes, fungal diseases, scab, root rot.

Can phacelia be a siderat

Phacelia has very short ripening period... The plant loosens the soil well, when decomposed, enriches it with nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, and is capable of inhibiting the growth of weeds.

Thanks to these properties, the plant has become widespread as a green manure. She tolerates frosts quite well, which makes it possible to get several harvests per season. The green mass can also be used as animal feed.

Pros and cons

Green manure is called green manure among gardeners. This is not without reason: these plants, when plowed into the ground act like manure, peat or other organic fertilizers. When they decompose, a mass of useful micro and macro elements is formed, which are so necessary for the full growth and development of potatoes.

Some green manures are capable of not only fertilizing, but also treating the soil, as well as repelling the most common types of pests.

Sunflower should not be used as a green manure for potatoes. This plant in the process of growth itself consumes a lot of nutrients, and its coarse trunk decomposes very slowly.

There are probably no negative aspects of using such fertilizers. Except that the very process of growing them requires some material costs and investment of its own forces, labor. And the growth process takes some time, so you need to be patient and wait until the green mass grows.

When using green manure for potatoes, you can not only increase the yield of the site, but also grow an environmentally friendly product... After all, natural fertilizers are absolutely safe for the human body, which cannot be said about chemical analogues.

Siderata for potatoes: which is better to sow in the fall, what effect is expected

Potatoes are so firmly established in cooking that they are planted on par with cereals. Summer residents, on the other hand, strive to get the maximum harvest from a small plot or field in order to provide themselves for the winter.

Some do not even use mineral fertilizers to keep their products environmentally friendly. But you can't constantly exploit the land without adding anything in return. The soil is depleted and a moment may come when the gardener will dig only half a bucket from the planted bucket of potatoes, which will be a great professional disappointment.

There is a way that helps to maintain soil fertility, but at the same time it is safe. This is the sideration of a potato field with other plants. Siderata for potatoes are plants that are sown before the tubers are planted, then mowed and dug up with the soil. After a week and a half, you can start planting the main crop.

What are siderates

Siderata are green fertilizers specially grown to restore soil after vegetation, enrich it with nitrogen and trace elements and inhibit weed growth. The name comes from the Latin "sidera", which means "a star receiving power from the sky." Sideration is the most important component of organic farming.

Siderata are plants that quickly gain green mass, which are mowed and embedded in the soil or left on its surface to protect the upper layer, and the roots of siderata, which are in the ground, rotting, serve to enrich the soil and subsoil. These plants, with their powerful aboveground part, inhibit the growth of weeds and protect the topsoil from the sun's rays. The powerful roots of green manure do not allow the weeds to get food for themselves, in addition, they loosen the soil well, and after dying off, they improve the permeability, water retention capacity and aeration of the soil.

As siderates, annuals are most often grown, less often perennial legumes with abundant green mass, which have phytosanitary properties. Fast growing cold-resistant cereals also make excellent green manures for the garden. Plants of the cruciferous and Asteraceae family are used as early green manure plants.

What green manures are not suitable for potatoes

Undesirable crops include sunflower. It depletes the soil, drawing out all the useful elements from it, slowly rots.

Rye and wheat are best sown in autumn days - they lure Colorado beetles to themselves, causing problems with potato bushes. Before planting potatoes, they are not used.

Siderata are classified as environmentally friendly fertilizers that help improve the quality characteristics of the site, accelerate the growth and ripening of potato plantings. Before starting sowing, you need to clarify which of the proposed options is most suitable for a particular field.

What are the properties and timing of planting for different siderates?

Mustard as siderat

A plant very popular with gardeners. Mustard can be sown from spring to autumn. In the spring this is done very early, as soon as the snow melts, since the plant is afraid of cold weather. The period from sowing seeds to technical maturity is 1.5-2 months, the main crops can be sown as early as 2 weeks after mowing and plowing. It grows lush greenery quickly, gives a light shade to young shoots of cultivated plants, but drowns out the growth of weeds.

When grown in beds, the mustard tops are cut off when its height reaches the growth of cultivated plants

IN summer time it is good to sow mustard on crops that take more time to ripen - peppers, tomatoes, eggplants. In addition, it is an indispensable tool in the fight against scab and late blight, and therefore a welcome "guest" in the beds with these crops and potatoes.

For winter mustard seeds are sown in September, after the crop is harvested from the garden. In this case, the tops are cut only in the spring. Moreover, it is so tender in mustard and decomposes so quickly that it is not even buried in the ground.

Mustard seeds are sown in rows with an interval of 10-15 cm between them or randomly. The sowing rate of seeds in the first case is 1-1.5 g / m2, with spilling - 3-4 g / m2.

Phacelia as a siderat

Universal green manure, after which any vegetables and berries will feel very comfortable. Phacelia is unpretentious, cold and drought-resistant, characterized by rapid growth and decorativeness.

Phacelia seeds are sown in the spring, immediately after the snow melts. Sowing rate - 1.5-2 g / m2. Grows well on clay, sandy, peaty and even rocky soil. Sown for the winter, phacelia will protect the soil from deep freezing. It loosens soils that are dense in structure, strengthens light soil, while reducing acidity.

Phacelia is a good honey plant and attracts pollinating insects to the site

Phytoncides contained in plant tissues suppress the reproduction of dangerous bacteria and fungi in the soil, causative agents of rot, scab and late blight. In addition, they scare away aphids, moths, wireworms, and nematodes. The green mass, which is rich in nitrogen and other minerals, is cut 45-50 days after sowing, when flowering begins. Close up to a depth of 10 cm.When planting seedlings, phacelia need not be mowed - it will protect young plants from wind and possible frost. After a while, the greens are cut and used as garden mulch.

Clover as a siderat

Clover prefers moist soil with a low level of acidity. Like other legumes, it saturates the soil with organic matter, nitrogen and other minerals. The roots protect the soil from weathering and leaching, at the same time loosen the soil, making it light, friable, rich in oxygen and moisture.

Clover is recommended to be embedded in the soil just before flowering, during the period of mass bud formation - at this time the plants are richest in nitrogen.

By aiding the activity of beneficial soil bacteria, clover promotes the formation of beneficial humus. However, soils with high acidity or too salty clover are not suitable. Loves moisture, but not excessive moisture. Sowing is carried out in early spring (March-April); during summer sowing, it is necessary to ensure sufficient watering. Seeding rate - 2 g / m2.

The greens are mowed shortly before the beginning of flowering, and 2-3 weeks after that you can plant the main crops - eggplants, tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, cabbage. The only exceptions are legumes, since they are infected with the same diseases, and they have common pests.

Lupine as a siderat

Lupine is notable for the fact that special nitrogen-fixing bacteria live on its long (up to 2 m) roots, which absorb nitrogen from the deep layers of the soil, and then give it to the upper ones. In addition, lupine makes difficult-to-digest phosphate compounds available to other crops.

Thanks to lupine, the soil becomes less dense, its acidity decreases, and the ability to accumulate and transmit moisture improves.

Different types and varieties of lupine prefer different types of soil: plants with white flowers thrive on loam and sandy soils. The more common purple lupine loves acidic soils more, in contrast to the yellow-flowered soil, which is undemanding to the composition of the soil, which only needs good moisture. Lupine is sown in early May. The green mass is ready for mowing 6-8 weeks after germination, until the stems are coarse. The green mass is embedded in the soil to a depth of 5-6 cm. The seeding rate of seeds is 20-30 g / m2.

Oats as green manure

Like all cereals, oats enrich the soil with valuable organic matter, as well as macronutrients - phosphorus and potassium. To saturate the soil with the necessary amount of nitrogen, it is good to sow oats in a complex mixture with rapidly growing spring vetch or peas. It grows on soils of different types - from sandy and clayey to peat and black soil.

In terms of efficiency and ability to fertilize the soil, oats are similar to manure.

The root system of oats is able to loosen dense soil, providing air and moisture access to the inner layers. Thanks to the strengthening properties of the roots, the light soils will protect the oats from erosion and facilitate the absorption of moisture by the plants. In addition, the roots of this cereal contain a substance that can suppress pathogens of root rot, bacterial and fungal diseases. Oats are sown in mid-spring (usually in April). The latest sowing date (before winter) is the first half of September. When sowing in rows, the seeding rate is 10 g / m2. The scattering method requires an increase in consumption up to 15-20 g / m2. The depth of planting grains into the soil is 3-4 cm.

What are the siderates for potatoes: pros and cons

So, according to one of the studies by Dutch scientists, red clover before planting potatoes increased the yield of tubers more than a mixture of oats / peas / vetch.

However, clover is susceptible to verticillary wilt, which is dangerous for subsequent potato culture. And white clover, as a precursor to potatoes, generally has a negative effect on yields.

Wild oats or wild oats, a malicious pest of cereals, unexpectedly turned out to be useful for potatoes. A two-year experiment was conducted in Argentina Wild oats, used as green fertilizer, had a significant impact on yields and scab incidence. The yield of tubers was higher, and the pressure of the scab on the pathogen-inoculated areas was less.

Soy is a very good precursor to potatoes, especially in warm climates. Soy is more tolerant of soil acidity than most legumes and has worked well against scab. The disadvantage of growing soy as a crop is that it produces little residue and therefore does not contribute to the maintenance of soil organic matter levels.

Lupine is a favorite in Eastern Europe as a cover crop preceding the potato.

Its effect on yield usually lasts two years in a crop rotation. Lupine beans have an inhibitory effect on nematodes and rhizoctonia and can be an interesting choice.

In some countries, rye used to be the most popular cover crop or crop rotation crop for potatoes, especially on light soils. Unlike legumes, rye does not need a high pH and is very competitive with weeds. It is one of the best plants for preventing nitrate leaching in the fall. Rye is also very tolerant of low winter temperatures. Unfortunately, rye is difficult to kill in spring and is, alas, a host plant for nematodes that attack potatoes.

Cabbage crops such as white mustard, oil radish, and rapeseed have several benefits. They grow fast, are cold-resistant, are excellent nitrogen accumulators, their seeds are cheap, and they die in winter. Suppress nematodes. In addition, mustard appears to be effective against scab and rhizoctonia. One possible drawback is phytotoxicity in cool springs. Cruciferous crops usually increase the dry matter content of the subsequent potato crop.

What do the scientists say? The opinion of the agronomist

When considering green manure for potatoes, it will be helpful to read an article by Andrew McGuire, an irrigated crop agronomist at the University of Washington. The author calls green manure or green fertilizer green manure for potatoes, which is quite consistent with the purpose of ground cover crops.

“Green manure is a crop that is grown and then embedded in the soil while remaining green. This practice was widely used to improve soil and provide nutrients to crops before synthetic fertilizers were available.

Recently, potato farmers have taken an interest in this old technology again, choosing predominantly green mustard manure to increase yields by improving the fertile properties of the land.

However, unlike the low-yield, little-used green fertilizers of the past, mustard green fertilizers require additional fertilization, a certain agricultural technology and, in some cases, irrigation.

They require a modern understanding of soil ecology, soil pests, plant biochemistry, and breeding and screening techniques. It is believed that, unlike synthetic fertilizers, green manure can improve the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil.

The harvest of green mustard manure is cut and sealed in the fall before the future potato planting.

Soil physical characteristics such as slope, water penetration, water retention and aeration are generally improved by adding organic matter to the soil, be it manure, green manure, compost or crop residues. This leads to the growth of larger, healthier root systems that help plants better deal with stress.

Soil biological characteristics such as microbial biomass, biological activity and biodiversity can also be improved with green fertilizers. These changes in soil biology provide a short-term economic incentive for the use of green manures in potato growing systems, especially for the control of soil pests and pathogens such as fungal and bacterial diseases.

The chemical properties of the soil are optimized by increasing the levels of nutrients and organic matter. When used in some growing systems, green manure serves as a substitute for expensive fumigants.

However, the extent and duration of these beneficial effects depends on many factors, such as soil texture, temperature and humidity, age and plant species, climate, tillage methods, pest species and levels, and crop rotation. Consequently, the benefits of mustard as a green manure for potatoes differ in the fields.

The impact of green manure on soil pests is the result of several interacting mechanisms that operate in a complex chain of interactions in the soil. Therefore, it is not yet possible to say which mechanism is most important or how each works in conjunction with the other - we can only determine which mechanisms may work and be important in growing potatoes.

Crop rotation

Until advances in soil microbiology have been achieved, many varieties of ground cover crops have been incorporated into the crop rotation system.

Correct crop rotation reduces pest problems by changing the ecological and biological conditions in the field.

Each pest has a set of conditions that it prefers. If pests are allowed to have their favorite set of conditions for too long, they multiply quickly and create problems.

In general, crop rotations with different planting dates (spring and autumn), different crops (annual and perennial tall and short with rod and fibrous root systems) and different susceptibility to pests (grass against broadleaf weeds) becomes an important aid to crop and potato growers in that number.

Suppression of soil diseases

The second mechanism of some ground cover crops is called biological disease suppression. Scientists see it as an observed suppression of soil-borne diseases, even though the disease-causing organism is still present in the soil on potentially dangerous ones.

Specifically on potatoes in the case of verticillary wilt (Verticillium dahliae) researchers observed that when certain green manures (barley, mustard, rapeseed, Sudanese grass, and sweet corn) were embedded in the soil before planting, the level of infestation Verticillium was low, even when there was a high level of fungus in the field.

Green manure is a source of energy for beneficial microorganisms. It is assumed that these organisms displace Verticilliumincreasing in number.

Then, after planting the potatoes, they possibly exclude the Verticillium from the area along the potato roots called the rhizosphere. This is the only place where verticillium wilt pathogens can infect potato plants.

Scientists believe that other mechanisms exist in the struggle for your crop, including interference (mutual increase or decrease in the resulting amplitude) of chemical signals between pathogens and plants.

It should be remembered that dry plant residues do not work as efficiently as fresh plants. Therefore, cover the crop with ground covers while it is still green.


This term is used to refer to the effect of crop rotation or green manure crops on soil-borne pests.

Crops such as rapeseed and mustard contain bioactive chemicals called glucosinolates.

In soil, some glucosinolates in roots, stems and leaves are broken down into isothiocyanates (ITC) and other chemicals.

Isothiocyanates are known to kill or suppress some phytopathogens and nematodes. There are many types of glucosinolates that produce different types of ITC with different toxicity to different pests.

Methyl ITC is an active chemical that, like a common synthetic fumigant, has in vitro suppressed the growth of white rot, powdery scab and pink rot. Field trials have shown mixed results, and research is ongoing.

Sudanese grass (or Sudanese sorghum) and millet have been shown to be effective against root nematodes by producing durrin, which, like glucosinolates, forms a toxic compound when applied to soil - in this case hydrogen cyanide (HCN).

Typically, glucosinolate concentrations peak just before flowering and remain until the plants begin to dry out.

The current practice is to grind green manure before spreading it to ensure that the biofumigants are mixed with the soil. The best tool for this might be a high speed shredder. Finally, ITC production is greater on wet soils than dry soils, so water the field after application if possible.

Systemic acquired resistance

This biological disease suppression mechanism occurs when certain organisms release chemicals that come into contact with plant roots and activate the plant's natural defense systems.

Define goals before choosing green manure

Before adding green manure crops to your rotation, you must decide what you want to achieve: control a particular nematode, disease, problem weed, or simply improve the soil.

Once you have decided on your primary goal, you should make management decisions to maximize the impact that will lead you to that goal.

Goal setting should take into account the unique mix of crops, soils and pests on your farm, or even in each area where you are farming.

Since certain types of green manure will be better in certain situations, you should examine the advantages and disadvantages of each type of crop and try out the ones that seem to work best for your situation.

Success or failure in benefiting from the yield of a groundcover depends on details: planting method, planting date, seeding rate, fertilization, weed control, and planting method and timing. Before buying seeds, make sure you have all the information about your chosen crop.

Seeds from specialized groundcover can be costly. However, green manure produced with the cheapest seeds, in marginal areas and with minimal watering, usually does not give satisfactory results, especially in terms of controlling phytopathogens and nematodes.

When considering the cost of green fertilizers, it is important to consider all the benefits. While it is relatively easy to quantify benefits if you can reduce pesticide use, it is much more difficult to assess the benefits of improved soil physical characteristics or other long-term benefits.

Also, remember that some of the money you spend on caring for the ground cover would have been spent anyway. This applies to fertilizers - most of them will remain in the soil for subsequent crops.

Consider the time and effort required to get good results. Will these resources be available when you need them? Do you have other activities during this time of year that might prevent you from giving proper attention to your green manure harvest? You may need to buy additional equipment and hire workers. "

Pros and cons

Green manure is called green manure among gardeners. This is not without reason: these plants, when plowed into the ground act like manure, peat or other organic fertilizers. When they decompose, a mass of useful micro and macro elements is formed, which are so necessary for the full growth and development of potatoes.

Some green manures are capable of not only fertilizing, but also treating the soil, as well as repelling the most common types of pests.

Sunflower should not be used as a green manure for potatoes. This plant in the process of growth itself consumes a lot of nutrients, and its coarse trunk decomposes very slowly.

Sunflower cannot be used as green manure for potatoes

There are probably no negative aspects of using such fertilizers. Except that the very process of growing them requires some material costs and investment of its own forces, labor. And the growth process takes some time, so you need to be patient and wait until the green mass grows.

When using green manure for potatoes, you can not only increase the yield of the site, but also grow an environmentally friendly product... After all, natural fertilizers are absolutely safe for the human body, which cannot be said about chemical analogues.