Catch Crops and Green Manure

Catch Crops

A catch crop is a quick growing crop, grown in between main crops, as a green manure or as a feed for livestock. 

These crops can have many benefits that include improving soil structure and quality, prevent soil erosion due to their long root system and also provide cover for both farmland and game birds.

Feldsaaten Freudenberger have designed this range of cover and greening mixtures for a range of situations.
They have been trialled and  developed over time with successful results. 

TG-1 – Humus

A well balanced mixture for maize and rapeseed crop rotations.  Excellent if you intend to use for mulch sowing as it will die back well in winter.

15% Forage Peas
15% Egyptian/Berseem Clover
15% Serradella
15% Phacelia
20% Sudangrass
20% Common Vetch

Also available organically

Sowing Rate – 30-40Kg per ha
Sowing Period: Until mid-August

TG-2 – Beet Nematode Neutral mix  * Nematode Resistant *

Contains deep rooted species such as radish and lupin.  Radish and mustard also eradicate nematodes.

15% Lupins
15% Common Vetch
35% Nematode Resistant Radish
5% Phacelia
20% Nematode Resistant Radish
10% Egyptian/Berseem Clover

Sowing Rate – 25-30Kg per ha
Sowing Period – Until mid-August

TG-3 – Solara

Mixture designed for potato crop rotations.

40% Lupins
20% Black oats
20% Radish
10% Forage Pea
5% Phacelia
5% Egyptian/Berseem Clover

Also available organically

Sowing Rate – 30-40Kg per ha
Sowing Period – Until mid-August

TG-4 – Bee Banquet

Annual flowering mix to provide farmland insects and bees with a source of nectar.

40% Phacelia
4% Radish
2% Cornflower
25% Buckwheat
5% Marigold
2% Dill
7% White Mustard
5% Fennel
1% Borage
3% Mallow
6% Coriander

Sowing Rate – 10Kg per ha
Sowing Period – Until mid-August

TG-5 – Biofum * Nematode Resistant *

Formulised to reduce the levels of soil dwelling pests.

90% Nematode Resistant Radish
10% Brown Mustard

Sowing Rate – 15Kg per ha
Sowing Period – Until mid-August

TG-6 – Radish Mix * Nematode Resistant *

Formulised to reduce the levels of soil dwelling pests.

50% Nematode Resistant Radish
50% Nematode Resistant Radish

Sowing Rate – 20-25Kg per ha
Sowing Period – Until mid-August

Also available organically

TG-9 – Soil Remedy

Catch crop mixture with penetrating root system to break up soil compaction.

30% Radish
40% Buckwheat
5% Phacelia
5% Niger
20% Lupin

Sowing Rate – 20-25Kg per ha
Sowing Period – Early August until early September

TG-11 – Easy Greening

A mixture for use on large areas of land without extensive preparation.

15% Niger
35% Phacelia
30% Persian Clover
20% Black Oats

Sowing Rate – 15Kg per ha
Sowing Period – Early August until early September

TG-13 – Complex Crop Rotations

For complex crop rotation systems that include potatoes, beet and vegetables.

35% Black Oats
30% Nematode resistant Radish
35% Common Vetch

Sowing Rate – 30Kg per ha
Sowing Period – Early August until early September

TG-14 – Late Sowing

Simple mixture, also suitable for late sowing. Use in crop rotations systems that have a high proportion of maize and cereals.

40% White Mustard
45% Radish
5% Niger
10% Gold of Pleasure

Sowing Rate – 20Kg per ha
Sowing Period – Early August until September

TG-15 – Suitable for Rape

Does not contain cruciferous plants.

60% Black Oats
10% Egyptian/Berseem Clover
15% Buckwheat
15% Niger

Sowing Rate – 25Kg per ha
Sowing Period – Early August until September

TG-16 – Winter Hardy

Winter hardy catch crop mix that is tolerant of late sowing. For maize and cereal crop rotations.

15% Forage Rape
5% Stubble Turnips
15% Crimson Clover
40% Hairy Vetch
25% Italian Ryegrass

Sowing Rate: 25Kg per ha
Sowing Period: Early August until September

TG-17 – Catch Crop and Silage

Use as a winter catch crop or for silage making in the spring.

60% Italian Ryegrass
20% Crimson Clover
20% Red Clover

Sowing Rate – 30Kg per ha
Sowing Period – Early August until mid-September

TG-18 – Short Crop Rotations

For potatoes, beets and vegetables.

65% Black Oats
35% Nematode Resistant Radish

Sowing Rate: 30-40Kg per ha
Sowing Period: Early August

More information on this range can be found on Feldsaaten Freudenbergers website
If you would like to discuss this range further, please contact Ellen at All Things Rural Ltd on 01789 763159.

Green Manure

Green Manure crops are fast growing plants with deep roots, sown in fields that have recently harvested their crops. Green manures are hardy plants that will grow through winter without needing much sunlight, ideal for covering bare soil out of season, and can be left for 1-2 years if desired.

Green Manure plants perform many benefits, with their deep roots drawing up nutrients from the soil, nodules on the roots “fixing” nitrogen from the air and others breaking up claggy clay. The foliage of the crops smothers weeds to prevent them growing, and the roots prevent soil and important nutrients being washed away by winter rain. When ready to plant crops again, cut down the green manure plants and then either dig in the remains or leave them to rot in to the soil, further releasing nutrients back in to the soil.

Green Manures will replenish the nutrients in your soil, as well as suppressing weeds and providing vital shelter for beneficial insects. Instead of leaving a field fallow or using harmful chemical products, Green Manures are an organic method of restoring nitrogen and other nutrients to the earth to allow for replanting of other crops in the Spring that have the potential to then produce an increased, organic yield.

For more information on Green Manure, please view our Technical Guide


Standard Green Manure Mixtures

Rye and Vetch Mix

70% Forage Rye
30% Vetch
Sowing Rate – 75Kg per acre

Westerwolds and Vetch Mix

30% Westerwolds
70% Vetch
Sowing Rate – 25Kg per acre

Black Oats and Vetch Mix

70% Black Oats
30% Vetch
Sowing Rate – 12Kg per acre

Fodder Radish and Tillage Radish Mix

40% Fodder Radish
30% Fodder Radish
30% Tillage Radish
Sowing Rate – 5Kg per acre

Black Oats, Radish and Mustard Mix

80% Black Oats
15% Fodder Radish
5% Mustard
Sowing Rate – 10Kg per acre

Nematode Resistant Radish and Mustard Mix

50% Fodder Radish – Farmer
50% Mustard – Rumba
Sowing Rate – 10Kg per acre

Forage Rye and Mustard Mix

80% Forage Rye
20% Mustard
Sowing Rate – 20Kg per acre

Green Manure Clovers

Balansa Clover
Trifolium michelicinum

A winter hardy annual that tolerates a variety of soil types.  It produces deep tap roots which helps with water infiltration and drainage.
Sowing Rate – 4Kg/acre 10Kg/ha

Berseem Clover
(Egyptian Clover)
Trifolium alexandrinum

A clover useful in nearly all crop rotations and is a non host plant for beet cyst nematodes.
Sowing Rate – 6Kg/acre 15Kg/ha

Crimson Clover
Trifolium incarnatum

A fast growing, bulky annual clover used in short breaks to rapidly improve soil fertility.
Sowing Rate – 6Kg/acre 15Kg/ha


Persian Clover
Trifolium resupinatum

An annual clover suited to most soil types and used in situations where a short term nitrogen fix is needed.
Sowing Rate – 4Kg/acre 10Kg/ha



Fodder Radish
(Oil Radish)
Raphanus sativa

A non tuberous type of radish that is fast to establish and has an efficient soil covering capacity.  Fodder Radish will aid soil structure and fertility and certain varieties can reduce cyst nematodes in a number of crops including sugar beet and potatoes.
Sowing Rate – 5Kg/acre 12.5Kg/ha

Tillage Radish
Raphanus sativus

This crop germinates and grows quickly and produces deep, thick forming radishes that are great at destroying soil compaction.  It holds and releases vital nutrients and represses nematodes.
Sowing Rate – 3Kg/acre 7.5Kg/ha




White Mustard
Conventional/Late Flowering/Nematode Resistant
Sinapsis alba

Cruciferous plant effectively used as a break crop to improve soil structure and fertility.  Mustard is fast establishing and drought tolerant.  In rotations with beets, a nematode resistant variety is preferable.
Sowing Rate – 6Kg/acre 15Kg/ha


Brown Mustard
Brassica juncea

Quick to establish, brown mustard gives effective weed suppression and improves soil structure.  It is a good nitrogen catcher when ploughed back in and also helps to reduce potato cyst nematodes.
Sowing Rate – 2Kg/acre 5Kg/ha






Phacelia tancetifolia

Phacelia is especially useful of sugar beet growing farms as it is nematode neutral and can therefore break a nematode breeding cycle.  It is not winter hardy so it is therefore ideally sown in spring or summer to break down over the winter period, leaving fertile ground for spring crops.
Sowing Rate – 4Kg/acre 10Kg/ha


Black Oats
Avena strigosa

A crop that has high capacity to reduce free living nematodes (Pratylenchus spp).  Quick to establish and will out compete weeds.
Sowing Rate – 20-30Kg/acre 50-75Kg/ha





Biofumigation is the incorporation of fresh plant material into the soil, which then releases several beneficial substances to suppress soil-borne pests and pathogens. These substances include glucosinates – a chemical agent that makes certain members of the Brassica family hot and spicy – which are at their highest concentration when the plant is flowering. When the plants are finely chopped (chaffed) and worked into the soil, the glucosinates are converted enzymatically into MITC (methyl isothyocianates) which are the actual active ingredients and are highly toxic to pests and pathogens. Plants from the Cruciferae family (Brassicaceae) release large amounts of these toxic compounds in the soil and are considered the best species to use for biofumigation, as they target pests such as fungal mycelia, mobile nematodes and germinated weeds. Biofumigation is an effective method of disinfecting soil and increases the uptake of nutrients by plants, as with soil solarization. It is also a similar process to green manuring, as biofumigation incorporates nitrogen back into the soil, increasing the yield of the cash crops that follow. Biofumigation is an effective, all-natural alternative to chemical insecticides and herbicides, helping to keep toxic chemical run-off out of the water supply and protecting the health of growers and consumers. To read more about Biofumigation, click HERE



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