Some advice on green manure crops, please!

In the blink of a few weeks the experimental green manure patch of Phacelia tanacetifolia has gone from this to this:

The heat and drought has rushed the crop through to maturity.  So now what do I do with it?  Wait? Chop it up and fork it in? How long before I can sow again? Won’t that patch be forever sowing itself with more phacelia?  Have I literally lost the plot?

I have put this on Twitpic too and hope, hope, hope for some sage advice.


  1. Flighty says:

    You should have dug it in before it flowered if you were growing it as a green manure. Depending on what you now want to do with the patch you can either dig it in, pull it up or leave to die back.
    I grow it on the plot, always let if flower for the bees to enjoy then pull it up and compost.
    Where it self-seeds, or appears, and I don’t want it I just hoe it in or pull it up as a weed. Flighty xx

    1. Thank you Flighty and I am sorry to be so v behind in replying to you. I have taken off the main biomass for composting and turned the roots and lower stems back in.

  2. Maeve TS says:

    I would chop it and fork it in, if I were you. Leave it for three weeks, then see what happens. If it looks okay, you could sow another green manure from a different plant classification group. Since phacelia is part of the hydrophyllaceae family, you can put in whatever you like afterwards, as it won’t affect any crop rotation plans!

    1. Thank you Maeve. I will definitely resow from a different family. This coming weekend and I hope the fine hot weather gives the crop enough time to get going as we are heading towards the tail end of the season.

  3. Alistair says:

    Well Catharine, if I knew the answers I would be pleased to tell you. Unfortunately I am going to keep coming back to this spot to hopefully find out for myself.

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    Håkan ( The Roseman)

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