Published

2019-06-13

With the release of Roland Bunch's second edition of Restoring the Soil we have been having a lot of conversations about green manures and cover crops. Even regular users of ECHOcommunity may not be aware of some of the amazing resources that have been generated on this subject over the years.

Green manure cover crops (gmcc) are rapidly growing crops that cover and protect the soil. They are left on the soil surface as mulch or plowed under to enrich soil organic matter content. Legumes are prioritized for their ability to source atmospheric nitrogen through symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

In 2017 ECHO produced a Best Practice Note on Selecting Legumes as  Green Manure Cover Crops which ultimately led to the creation of an interactive GMCC Selection Tool.

If you know some basic information about your growing conditions (rain, temperature, altitude) you the GMCC Selection Tool can help you narrow down which of the GMCCs available in the ECHO seed banks might be most appropriate for your use. You can specify if you are looking for a specific growth habit (erect, climbing, etc.) and specific use-cases such as human or animal consumption. 

Additional resources:

Discussions:

ECHOcommunity Conversations has several ongoing discussions about GMCCs that you may find interesting. If you've got a qestion, this is a great place to ask!