How to sow green manure

Find out how to protect, enrich and improve areas of bare soil by sowing green manure.

Do it:

Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov

Takes just:

20 minutes

Sowing a green manure on bare soil in autumn is a great way to improve its structure and fertility. It prevents nutrients from being washed out of bare soil, deters weeds from germinating and improves soil structure.

Sown directly, the resulting young leafy plants are later dug back into the soil in spring, giving it a boost.

Discover how to sow green manure in just three steps, below.

You will need

  • Green manure seed mix
  • Soil rake


Measure the area and work out the sowing rate according to the packet instructions. If sowing several varieties together mix well for the best results. 
Scatter the seeds over prepared soil. 
Rake the seed lightly into the surface and protect from birds. 


Top plants for green manure

  • Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)
  • Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum)
  • Red clover (Trifolium pratense)
  • Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)
  • Grazing rye (Secale cereale)
  • Broad beans (Vicia faba)
  • Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum)
  • Mustard greens (Brassica juncea)
  • Phacelia
  • White clover (Trifolium repens)

Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

How to sow fresh seed in autumn

How to collect and sow astrantia seeds

Sowing sweet pea seeds