With the focus being firmly on the soil in organic farming, we’ve found that soil improvement is one of the primary challenges facing most home gardeners in Goa. Some have lateritic soil that produces less than desirable results, others lose soil fertility because of either not managing it well or because of erosion in the monsoons.
Green Manuring is a process of growing certain crops on your land or in your garden in order to improve soil fertility. It consists of growing mainly leguminous crops that are known to fix nitrogen into the soil as they grow. In addition, other seeds are also grown so that they can add bio-mass into the soil, which on decomposing also improves soil fertility and texture.
While there are many approaches to green manuring, we’d adopted the one described here as a semi-quick fix for poor soil – and had pretty good results with it. Our experience has been that there are substantial, visible improvements in organic content, nitrogen addition, soil texture and even microbial health (indirectly) as a result of just 2 cycles of this procedure over four months.
Most importantly its not too labour intensive, relatively inexpensive and if done at the right time (late-May, early June) the monsoon does most of the work for you.
Here is where you can find a detailed set of instructions (PDF)