Westerwold Ryegrass and Vetch for winter feeding/green manure
Easy to sow winter greenmanure, less bird damage than with Rye grain if broadcast. Very cost effective. Good winter fodder.
- Quick growing with good coverage.
- Can be strip grazed or cut for fodder from December on. The Westerwolds will come back to provide more grazing in the Spring.
- Can also be used as a winter green manure. Will fix nitrogen and improve soil structure and drainage.
- Westerwold ryegrass is an annual grass, which is well-known for its quick establishment and early vigour. It can be sown from spring till the beginning of autumn.
- It is a very good at raising Nitrogen levels and is very quick to make a large root mass making it suitable as a green manure.
- It effectively seeks out and mops up nitrate in soil.
- Used on its own or as a companion with nitrogen fixing vetch.
- Excellent choice for heavy soils.
- Produces a lot of bulky foliage that suppresses weeds, adds organic matter and improves the texture of the soil.
- It is easy to dig in.
- Best to sow before October to ensure a good germination.
- Grows best with a support plant - ie Rye, which also helps with weed suppression.
- Can be used as forage.
All cover crops should be either tilled in, mowed down almost to the ground, or smothered by organic mulches before they go to seed.
As green manure foliage decomposes it releases compounds that can inhibit germination. This is especially true of grazing rye. It is therefore not advisable to sow seeds immediately after digging in a green manure. Transplants and large seeded crops are not effected