Grazing Rye

Question ...

I sowed grazing rye as a green manure last autumn, and it grew very well. So well in fact that it's too tough and I can't dig it in. I want to plant potatoes in the patch where the grazing rye is, so how do I deal with it?

Answer ...

Grazing rye should be dug in as soon as possible in the spring. In this case you need to chop the top growth off the rye. Use a sharp spade or hoe, or even shears, and leave the foliage to thoroughly die down on the soil surface. Don't worry about the roots - they'll rot down naturally. Why not use a no-dig method for the potatoes? That way you'll smother the rye and prevent any re-growth. Once the rye has been chopped back, just make small holes to plant your seed potatoes, then cover the whole area with a thick layer of straw. Keep the plants well watered, and top up the straw with grass cuttings as the plants grow.

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