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- reduces potato cyst nematodes
- improves soil structure – as a green manure
- suppresses soil disease and weeds – as a biofumigant
Caliente Mustard produces a naturally occurring biofumigant gas (isothiocyanate (ITC)) when its plant cells are damaged (by crushing or chopping).
This gas suppresses a range of:
- soil-borne diseases, including Verticillium wilt, Rhizoctonia spp., Pythium spp., Fusarium spp., and Sclerotinia spp.
- nematodes (eelworms)
To encourage the production of the biofumigant gas ITC:
- chop the Caliente Mustard plants as finely as possible – the finer the chop the greater the effect. Either, use a rotary mower (such as Bosch Rotak 32R Electric Rotary Lawnmower with 32cm Cutting Width), a strimmer (like this BLACK+DECKER ST4525-GB Corded Grass Strimmer, 450 W) or garden shredder (for example Draper 35900 230-Volt 2,400-Watt Garden Shredder)
- incorporate the chopped mustard into soil immediately, simply digging in the whole crop, un-chopped, will not give the same effect. Mix the shredded vegetation into the top 15cm (6in) of the soil either with a rotovator (like this one Handy 9 inches Width Garden Tiller Cultivator Mantis Deluxe), or by digging in with a fork
- seal the soil surface, at once, to keep the gases in, using polythene
- the soil temperature should be warm, between 10-15°C (50 – 59°F)
- autumn or late spring incorporations are the most effective
When the green foliage of the Caliente mustard is chopped and incorporated into the soil, the decomposed organic matter will produce nutrients which will help plants grow. It is a good idea to analyse the soil every so often to see how fertile it is.
To grow Caliente mustard:
- Sow spring to late summer – it will be ready 60 to 90 days after sowing
- To cover areas of bare soil over winter, sow early October (no later than mid-October) & the crop will be ready for incorporation in early to mid spring
- 200g of seed covers approx 120sq.m
- 1kg covers approx 600sq.m
- Caliente mustard is available in this packet of mixed seed, Suttons Seeds 169522 Winter Mix Green Manure Seed