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Rye is one of the best green manures for winter use, it is the best cool-season cereal cover for absorbing soil nitrogen and gives good crop cover to help prevent nutrient leaching. It is a hardy annual and it can lift and release up to 90% of nitrate to the next crop. It has no taproot, but its quick-growing, fibrous root system help to break up heavy soils, adding organic matter and improving soil structure. The roots significantly reduce nitrate leaching and provide exceptional weed suppression.
Rye works well as a strip cover crop and windbreak within vegetables or fruit crops and as a quick cover for rotation gaps or if another crop fails. Tall and quick-growing can be used as a nurse-crop to protect seedlings and is often used as an understory for tall crops such as corn. You can overseed rye into vegetables with consistently good results. You can also overseed rye into brassicas, into beans just before leaf drop or between rows of fruit trees.
Sowing Rate 17g per square metre
Pretty Wild Seeds are registered with the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) under number 7529, so you can have confidence in both our products and advice. Although our products are listed in weights and acres, we can supply in additional quantities upon enquiry so if you need a larger supply, please don't hesitate to give us a call.
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We happily accept returns within 14 days from date of delivery. All returns must be received in the same condition and packaging we sent them. Postage charges will not be refunded on unwanted products.
You are solely responsible for ensuring the goods are returned to us. We will not be liable for returns that are lost in the post or lost for any other reason. If a product arrives damaged we will advise the customer how to return the item with all return costs covered by us. Replacements & refunds will be dispatched / issued on receipt of the returned items only.
Sowing rate; 17g per square metre
As a green manure Rye is hardiest of cereals. Rye can establish in very cool weather. It will germinate at temperatures as low as 1°C (34°F). Vegetative growth requires 4°C (38° F) or higher. It can be seeded much later in autumn than other cover crops and still provide considerable organic matter. It can be sown in spring to dig in later in summer or in late summer to overwinter. (through November if the weather is mild).
Inexpensive and easy to establish, it is widely adapted, but grows best in cool, temperate zones. Rye prefers light loams or sandy soils and will germinate even in fairly dry soil. It outperforms all other cover crops on infertile, sandy or acidic soil or on poorly prepared land. It also will grow in heavy clays and poorly drained soils, and tolerates water logging.
If weed suppression is an important objective plant a rye / legume mixture. Legumes such as Tares may also be overseeded into rye in the spring. Plant rye at a slightly lower rate when seeding with a legume, at low to medium rates with other grasses and if planting with clovers, seed rye at a slightly higher rate.
Sowing; March-May or July-November for overwintering. Prepare the soil by removing weeds, digging over if it hasn't been recently cultivated and raking level. Scatter seeds over the surface of the soil. Rye is more sensitive to seeding depth than other cereals, so plant no deeper than 5cm (2in) into the soil. Make sure the seed is in firm contact with the soil by gently tapping over the surface with the back of a spade. Water in well. Bare patches should be covered within two to three weeks and plants will do the most good if they are left for at least eight weeks before digging in.
Some farmers prefer to chop or mow rye by ‘late boot stage’, before it heads or flowers. If it is a very mild winter it will start to head out very early, around March. A long-day plant, rye is encouraged to flower by 14 hours of daylight and a temperature of at least 5°C (40°F). Digging in early, while it’s still short and succulent, is one way to minimize N tie-up and conserve soil moisture. Incorporate the rye before it is 45cm (18in) high. N. A rotavator set to only 5cm (2in) makes light work of large areas.
After a winter it can be quite hard to dig in and is best done in stages. Either loosen roots one day and then dig in a couple of days later, or cut down foliage, then cover with a light excluding mulch such as black plastic for 3 weeks and it will be easier to dig in.
Rye releases a chemical that has allelopathic effects. They inhibit the growth of the next crop. To extend rye’s weed-management benefits, you can allow its allelopathic effects to persist longer by leaving killed residue on the surface rather than incorporating it. Allelopathic effects taper off after about 30 days. After killing rye, it’s best to wait three to four weeks before planting small-seeded crops such as carrots or onions. If planting vegetables into rye, be aware that rye seedlings have more allelopathic compounds than more mature rye residue. Transplanted vegetables, such as tomatoes, and larger-seeded species, especially legumes, are less susceptible to rye’s allelopathic effects