WHAT IS THE BEST SIDERAT? SOW WHITE MUSTARD!
Which green manure crop increases soil fertility the most?
Ekaterina Mikhailovna ZUBRITSKAYA
Having experienced different cultures, I opted for white mustard. It is especially good when the soil on the site is poor. The plant is unpretentious and at the same time gives a rich green mass.
WHY DO YOU NEED WHITE MUSTARD HOW SIDERATE AND NOT YELLOW?
White mustard is a plant of the cabbage family (formerly called cruciferous). It is an annual crop 25-120 cm high (usually 50-70 cm). The flowers are pale yellow, sometimes white. The fruit is a pod with small seeds.
Seed color is pale yellow, closer to white. Therefore, they called mustard, which blooms mainly with yellow flowers, "white", although this is not the only name. It is sometimes called English mustard.
ARGUMENTS FOR WHITE MUSTARD LIKE THE BEST SIDERAT
Mustard can be sown in early spring and closer to autumn, since seedlings appear at a rather low temperature. This green manure is able to accumulate nitrogen in itself and convert phosphorus and potassium from hard-to-reach forms to readily soluble ones. On the decomposing residues, a rapid growth of useful microflora begins, which displaces pathogens. Thus, mustard heals the soil. Sowed in the aisles of crops, it is able to scare off aphids and moths.
The rapid growth of vegetative mass allows the plant to completely "capture" the territory and suppress even aggressive perennial weeds. There are examples of how the continuous sowing of mustard - 2-3 times per season - several times reduced the amount of wheatgrass on the site. The mustard root system loosens the soil, making even "heavy" areas friable.
And if you leave the autumn mustard for the winter, it will retain a large mass of snow, which will be very useful in the spring.
Using mustard as a catch crop - sowing in the summer after the main crop is harvested, you can "cheat" the crop rotation - to place the same crop on the same plot in the next season.
PRECEDORS FOR WHITE MUSTARD AND SOIL FOR IT
Cereals are considered the best predecessors in the industrial cultivation of mustard, but since summer residents are interested in it as a green manure, they sow it after any plants, with the exception of cabbage, which, in addition to the "title" species, include radish, horseradish, radish, watercress, daikon, rucola. Mustard itself is a wonderful precursor for most plants, it is especially good for potatoes. It is believed that after plowing mustard, the incidence of scab decreases and the wireworm almost completely disappears.
Mustard also has soil preferences, but they should not be embarrassing. This can be corrected by increasing the seeding rate and fertilizing. On heavy, floating soils, the decomposition of the green mass will slow down, but it will happen anyway, and then the earth will be enriched and become lighter and friable.
It is not difficult to prepare the soil for this green manure. It is necessary to remove the plant residues of the previous culture, slightly loosen the soil and, scattering the seeds, fence. It is not worth digging up the soil or cultivating it deeply, but after 1,5 months, when planting the grown mustard, this will have to be done.
There is no need to fertilize mustard as a green manure, because it is grown itself for the sake of "feeding" the soil.
SOWING WHITE MUSTARD
The optimal time for sowing mustard for seasoning is the third decade of April - early May. In our case, the sowing date depends on the harvesting of the predecessor and the time for preparing the soil. The main thing is not to be late with this in the second half of summer, because the crops carried out after August 15-20 will not have time to increase the green mass before frost. After September 10, it is better to abstain from this altogether and give preference to winter side-crops, for example, rye.
The seeding rate of mustard ranges from 100 to 250 g per 1 sq. m. It all depends on the ability to introduce small-seeded crops. I advise you to mix the seeds with granular superphosphate (1: 1 or 1: 2).
For those who love work and have enough time, I recommend the row sowing of mustard. Grooves are made with a stick at a distance of 15-25 cm, into which the seeds are poured, then they are carefully sprinkled and the soil is compacted. The method is laborious, but saves seeds that do not scatter to neighboring beds.
It is not worth taking seeds in reserve, but if the current worked out, then in a cool dry room they are stored for 2-3 years without losing germination.
Seeds germinate at 1-2 degrees of heat, although the optimum temperature for mustard is -18-20. Seedlings appear on the 6-7th day. Flowering begins after 30-40 days. There are no measures for the care of mustard - sowed, fed and wait for the planting.
Reference by topic: Mustard powder from diseases and pests - how to apply?
SEEDING MUSTARD INTO SOIL
Disputes often flare up when to plow siderates and, in particular, mustard. Some argue: when a large mass grows, others urge not to wait for flowering. From personal experience and based on the laws of agronomy, I will join the supporters of early plowing dates.
Before flowering, the mustard manages to build up a green mass sufficient for the enrichment effect. In addition, at the beginning and during active flowering, plants consume phosphorus and potassium from the soil, which are necessary for seed formation. Of course, after plowing, the nutrients will return to the soil, but why such a vain "cycle".
Therefore, plow the mustard in the beginning of flowering phase, when 10-15% of the flowers have blossomed. Previously, the green mass must be crushed. The best way to do this is to use a trimmer. It is necessary to act as follows: first, mow the upper tier (about a third of the stem), then the middle part and, finally, the rest of the plants. But it is even better to use a motor cultivator with a cutter: in this case, the green mass is simultaneously chopped and embedded in the soil.
In other cases, this is done by plowing or digging, the main thing is to prevent the mowed mass from drying out. To accelerate the decomposition of plant fertilizers, it is advisable to spill the area with a solution of a biological product, for example, "Baikal EM-1".
When using mustard as livestock feed, it is necessary to remove its green mass before flowering, until the plant begins to taste bitter. When you start feeding mustard to cattle, keep in mind that the animal needs 2-3 days to get used to such food, so start with a small dose, gradually increasing it.
WHITE MUSTARD: AND MEDICINES AND FOOD
Mustard seeds are used to treat sclerosis, hypertension and digestive problems. The plant helps with rheumatism and skin diseases. Fresh mustard leaves are a good remedy for relieving headaches.
Young mustard leaves are used in cooking. Moreover, not cut, but torn leaves are considered more useful. They are washed and added fresh to salads. The taste is bitter, but the benefits are undeniable, since the dish increases the appetite.
Mustard is considered to be one of the best honey plants. Its main advantage is early flowering. The bees willingly carry the nectar collected from the mustard plantations to the hives. According to experts-beekeepers, about 120 kg of sweet product per hectare is obtained. Someone will say that such honey does not have high taste, but let's leave it on his conscience. Personally, I love honey "with any sauce". In any case, natural "mustard" honey tastes better than a quality sugar fake.
Therefore, beekeepers need to sow mustard early - at the beginning of April for an early bribe. But you can do this in the fall - in early to mid-August. In this case, by the end of September, you can get a blooming field, where there will be expanse for the bees.
Remember that "mustard" honey crystallizes quickly, so in no case should it be left in the hive for the winter.
WHITE MUSTARD AS A SIDERAT - VIDEO
Agronomist Dmitry Ilyich DYAKONOV, Gomel region, Ulukovye
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