Growing without fertilisers – soil building with weeds

One of the major costs on a farm tends to be fertilisers – even if you are growing organically. This is especially true if you import your manure/compost instead of producing it (like us). However this challenge seems even more severe in lands like we use – where the soil building activities are undermined by water inundation in the monsoons.

Most organic farms solve this problem by setting up composting systems or have cattle to produce their own manure. However, in smaller spaces and with limited manpower this can be a difficult or time consuming thing to do.

Our interest therefore has been to learn more about organic farming methods like green manuring, cover cropping and crop rotations as a soil building and manuring technique. The benefits of achieving this in the long run would clearly be considerable to any organic farm.

While we have seen the benefits of green manuring on our own farms, we’ve heard about more advanced practitioners who actually use indigenous weeds to do this job. Admittedly adoption of these methods have been more in agro-forestry and plantation systems – but it seems worth our while to see if we can incorporate it into our vegetable growing systems too.

Our visit to B.N. Nandish Shimoga, Karnataka provided a lot of interesting ideas for how such a system may be designed. His “Legume Logic” shows how mulching and green manuring with weeds can be incorporated into your seasonal growing practices to completely eliminate the need for manure application. The results speak for themselves and provide many interesting ideas for paddy growers in Goa.

To learn more about the methods he employs, read here (click link below)…



  1. britto cyril · August 1, 2015

    like to learn more about everything in farming


    • Yogita Mehra · August 1, 2015

      We’re not sure if that’s possible – but if you can frame some specific questions perhaps we can help by answering them for a start? Please write to yogita at yogifarms dot com


    • Yogita Mehra · August 11, 2016

      Everything about farming takes a lifetime 🙂 but if you have some specific questions, we’d be happy to answer them


      • Britto · August 11, 2016

        Yes the basic idea, what’s very important in day to day life


  2. Suneet Salvi · January 18, 2017

    Lovely article. It is time for to make small info clippings also.


    • Karan Manral · January 19, 2017

      Thanks. Revamping from March, so will do


  3. Regina Dourado · February 12, 2017

    My son aged 24 years is interested in farming. We have a small land of 700 in Tivim. Can you please guide him


    • yogitamehra · October 2, 2017

      Extremely sorry that we only just noticed your message. Will call later this week.


    • yogitamehra · October 2, 2017

      Could you let us have your number? You can message us at 9960643250


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