Green Manure

Briefly: Giripushpa, Sunhemp, Dhaincha and Cowpea can be used for green manuring

There is so less I know of the natural world I realized when Arun Shivkar handed me two cuttings of Giripushpa from his small nursery he has put up at  Baradewdai in Pabal Valley in Pen. Arun runs Kasav, a NGO active among adivasi and landless for the last two decades in Pen and its neighbouring area.

glyricidia sepium

Arun present dream is to encourage adivasi to grow vegetables and fruits on farm plots which is sold to the passerby on the Goa National Highway. He distributes free cuttings of Giripushpa ( also called Glyricidia) to adivasi farmers.

“The poor adivasis can’t afford to buy Nitrogen fertilizer, though it’s subsidised by the government,” says Arun. “Giripushpa comes very handy to these farmers.”

Kasav encourages farmers, mostly small plot holders, to grow Giripushpa on the edges of the plot. The leaves and the stem of Giripushpa are rich in nitrogen and are being increasingly used for nitrogen fixation of the soil.

The two cuttings Arun gave me have found place in my farm plot in Chon village, eight kilometers from Badlapur (west) station. The Giripushpa plants are already one feet high and I hope they will grow vigorously after the rains.

Like Giripushpa crops namely Sunhemp, Dhaincha and Cowpea are also used for green manuring as well as for soil conservation. These crops are grown for about 40-50 days (up to flowering) and then buried in the soil. Others like Subabhul and Karanj are grown on bunds and used for adding green manures


3 thoughts on “Green Manure

  1. Vineel

    Besides being an organic source of nitrogen, glyricidia also adds to the beauty of a garden with its pink-white flowers during winter. At that time, the tree is almost devoid of leaves. Pods soon follow and seeds can be harvested for propagation during mid-summer before the pods shatter.

    The name “glyricidia” literally means “killer of rats” as the roots are said to have poisonous properties.

    I have also observed aphids growing rampantly on young shoots of this tree. While growing this tree near or around aphid prone crops such as banana and vegetables may be tricky, as glyricidia may act as an alternate host of this pest.

    Thanks and Congratulations for yet another interesting post.

  2. sadhana

    my brother owns semi-barren land in his native place (a village in nasik). we have been thinking re. what could be done to turn that land into fertile land and finally thought of planting glyricidia during this monsoon. where can we get the saplings?? does your friend give saplings to other people also beside adivasis? we can pay for the same too…


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