White mustard as siderat
We all know that green manure crops can enrich the soil with organic matter, make it more loose and nutritious, of course, provided that the plant is plowed or buried entirely in the soil. Let’s talk today about mustard as a sideral culture, but immediately make a reservation: it is not suitable for all types of soils, it is better to plant it on loose, rather than dense and clay soils, in the latter the process of its decomposition can be greatly slowed down.
- White mustard as siderat
- The benefits of white mustard as a sidereal crop
- When to sow white mustard as a green manure?
- One use of mustard as a siderate
- Rules for sowing white mustard
- White mustard care
- Mowing mustard and incorporation into the soil
- The result with a little disappointment
White mustard as siderat
It is white mustard that is used as a sideral culture - an annual culture that belongs to the cruciferous family. It grows from seeds, and they use it not only in our country, but also in various countries around the world, although its homeland is the Mediterranean region.
The maximum height of the plant is about seventy centimeters, the plant overgrows with a powerful leaf mass, with foliage of cirrus type. White mustard blooms very actively and gives pods, in one pod there can be up to one and a half dozen seeds, each of which is no more than one and a half millimeters in diameter. White mustard blooms from June to August, that is, it blooms literally all summer. During this time, bisexual flowers are perfectly pollinated by all types of flying insects and the wind.
From about July to September, the seeds ripen, they taste islandy, but weakly, and if you do not use white mustard as a siderate, you can safely put its seeds in marinades or sauces. Just like seeds, you can eat white mustard leaves, especially young ones and just beginning to grow. They go to salads and it is customary not to cut them with a knife, but to tear them, they say that it’s tastier like that.
But we retired to the topic of cooking, we return to the field, where we will grow white mustard just as siderata.
The benefits of white mustard as a sidereal crop
The use of white mustard is enormous, especially for poor (but not overly depleted) soils, it literally revives them, forms a sufficient amount of organic matter, when already a month or a little more after sowing the seeds, this green manure is embedded (necessary before flowering) in the soil, enriching the soil with available phosphorus and nitrogen.
White mustard, grown as a green manure crop, can easily absorb all the poorly soluble mineral compounds and convert them into forms that are readily available to plants.
The most pleasant plus for summer residents is that white mustard literally slows down the growth of all weeds, both during growth and after embedding green mass in the ground.
During periods of prolonged rains or in areas where gardeners try to wet the soil well, white mustard will slow down, and possibly stop the leaching of valuable nutrients into the soil layers inaccessible to cultivated plants.
In addition, white mustard secretes special substances into the soil that inhibit the growth of molds, various bacteria, which is why many praise that after white mustard their tomatoes, potatoes and similar vegetables practically did not suffer from late blight, were not affected by scab, and also did not suffered from putrefactive microflora.
With the help of white mustard in small areas, you can literally deceive crop rotation by renewing the soil and returning the crop to its previous place ahead of schedule for a season or a couple of seasons.
According to unofficial data, based on feedback from gardeners, even a single planting of white mustard as a green manure already significantly reduces the amount of wireworm and, which is typical, slugs in the soil.
If you planted white mustard late and did not mow, then it does not matter, it will perfectly keep the snow on the site.
Those who have an apiary should plant white mustard early in the spring: the bees will take the first bribe from it, but then you will have to tinker with its removal, it is up to you to decide whether it is more expensive - honey or a garden.
In addition, white mustard is a good partner for many crops, for example, it accelerates the growth and ripening of peas, beans and, as it is not surprising, even grapes, and gardeners say that if you plant white mustard in the aisles of the garden, you can forget forever about the moth and even aphids!
Of course, do not forget that the cultivation of white mustard does not require any special additional costs (except for watering), and its seeds are worth a penny and can be found in any seed store.
There is nothing perfect in this world, in this I am convinced over the years, even white mustard with such an abundance of pluses has its drawbacks. For example, she is sick and severely - often suffers from rust, the well-known leaf spot, which is called alternariosis, and even from powdery mildew and keel.
When to sow white mustard as a green manure?
White mustard can be sown in any period, starting from March (if the soil has thawed) and until September. In the southern regions, the crop is ready for sowing already at the end of February, where the soil is thawed almost a month earlier.
Usually, however, to maximize the effect of using white mustard as a sideral culture, it is sown about 30 days before sowing the main crop in this area, that is, vegetables, strawberries, herbs and other things. Never rush to plant the main crop, after planting mustard in the soil at least half a month must pass, otherwise the rotting mustard plant residues in the soil can, on the contrary, slow down the development of the main crop.
Do not sow white mustard and turnips next to them - they do not tolerate each other, but in the area where flower beds and flower beds will be later broken, it is quite possible to sow it.
Important! White mustard as a green manure should not be sown after cruciferous crops such as cabbage, radish, radish; everything is simple, they have common diseases, and it can become infected with them.
In the center of Russia, white mustard is usually sown in August or September.At the same time, it winters on the site, and its incorporation into the soil is carried out the next year. Of course, if autumn drags on, and mustard begins to grow too actively, then after 30 days (without waiting for flowering) it can be planted in the soil and in the current year.
In the south, white mustard is usually sown in early September, although this process can be stretched until October and even November, because it is not afraid of low temperatures. It has been experimentally proved that white mustard, although not all, but, apparently, only its most fulfilled seeds (i.e., when fully matured, have reached their full form) can sprout with a couple of degrees above zero.
After sprouts, by the way, young greenery often withstands negative temperatures of up to five degrees below zero, and if the autumn is long, it quietly grows (planted in October!) By ten centimeters.
Nevertheless, it is advisable not to overtighten and sow white mustard immediately after the main crop is harvested, otherwise active growth of weed vegetation will begin.
One use of mustard as a siderate
To make it immediately clear to everyone how to use white mustard as a green manure, let's give a simple example. Let's say we have the end of August and we are harvesting tomatoes that grow in the open ground. It was during this period that white mustard can be planted around tomato bushes. After the whole crop of the tomato has been harvested, which is in the middle of Russia in the middle of September, you can add the oatmeal mixture to the mustard for a change. Then we leave the green manure to grow, it all winters under the snow, and in the spring we dig everything up with a simple cultivator.
In the event that the autumn growth of mustard was very plentiful, you can not even smell it, it will be something like mulch, but in this case it is better to use phytosporin, treating the area a couple of times with a weekly interval, strictly following the instructions, and then again on this site to plant tomato seedlings.
Rules for sowing white mustard
It is best to plant mustard in the beds, which can be done in advance. As for the choice of place, it grows both in the open area and in partial shade, but the most active growth is observed in the conditions of a long day and in the open place.
Soil, if nothing has grown on it before, you can fertilize with humus (2-3 buckets for digging per square meter), if you need to deoxidize the soil, then you can use dolomite flour (300 g per square meter) for these purposes. Further, the soil remains to be dug up, leveled and made beds.
Distances in the beds should not be measured, sowing is usually quite dense, just take the seeds in a handful and sprinkle the soil. Typically, about five grams of white mustard seed is consumed per square meter.
If the seedlings are dense, then this is only better - they will delay the leaching of nutrients with irrigation or rain water and completely prevent soil erosion.
The depth of sowing seeds is important at the same time, it is about a centimeter, maybe a little less, but preferably no more.
White mustard care
In the beginning, we already wrote briefly that white mustard will show its positive properties in the best way on soils of light and sandy, medium and loamy, well-drained and chernozem soils, even if the chernozem will be heavily compacted. On heavy soil, it will grow extremely poorly, and there will be little sense from it. As for acidity, there are no particular preferences, it can grow on acidic soil, and on neutral, and even alkaline, the spread of an appropriate pH level is off scale - from 4.0 to 8.5, but, of course, 6 is considered ideal ,five.
Mustard sprouts appear very quickly, after three or four days, if the temperature is about ten degrees Celsius, the first shoots on the soil surface can be seen, but then the growth slows down. It will take about a month, and sometimes a little more, to fully occupy the mustard plot. Those who want to wait for the buds will have to suffer five weeks, and after a week the buds will open, revealing yellow flowers.
For good growth and development, it is advisable to water the mustard at least once a week, pouring a square meter over a bucket of water.
Mowing mustard and incorporation into the soil
It is important to mow the white mustard before the appearance of flowers, by this time it can reach a height of 15-20 centimeters. If the plants are late and bloom, the stems will become very coarse, the petioles on the leaves will become significantly stiffer, and after beveling and incorporation into the soil, such an “inveterate” green mass will be much slower.
In addition, during the flowering period, mustard consumes quite a lot of nutrients from the soil and spends it on itself and, in fact, somewhat loses its main function, that is, it ceases to be a sideral crop.
If you allow self-sowing, then generally turn white mustard from a green manure into a rather dangerous and difficult to destroy weed.
Naturally, a digging is carried out with the incorporation of green mass of mustard into the soil by any of the options - a walk-behind tractor or an ordinary shovel, who has what opportunities. In dry weather, in order for the green mass of mustard to decompose as quickly as possible in the soil, once a week it is necessary to carry out irrigation, pouring a square meter on a pair of buckets of water.
To maximize the acceleration of the process of decomposition of the green mass of mustard, you can use the well-known to all of us preparation Baikal EM-1.
The result with a little disappointment
Do not think, however, that mustard can perform a real miracle. In exhausted soils, in addition to mustard, humus will have to be added, and if the soil is simply killed, then all this must be combined for five years in a row.
It is not worth hoping that poor soil composition without the use of any fertilizer can be literally resurrected for just a couple of crops, mowing and planting mustard in the soil, especially with regard to sandy and clay soils. Yes, the layer of humus will increase, but too slowly for crops to grow well on such soils and give full-fledged crops. Just one cycle of growing any vegetable crop may be enough to nullify all your work.
Keep in mind that just sowing and planting white mustard in the soil will not solve all soil problems at once and will not help replace all the necessary measures to improve the soil structure, which must be carried out annually.
The answer to the question, which certainly may be in the comments: what to do if the mustard has grown, but has not yet given seeds? Nothing, leave it in the winter and do not mow, and in the spring, it’s better to plug the cultivator with a cultivator attachment into the soil.