Green Fertilizer  -  /ɡrēn,ˈfərdlīzər/ - noun

April 8, 2020

Definition: A natural substance, including manure and/or leguminous crops, that can be plowed back into the soil to increase soil fertility.

The Difference Between Compost and Green Fertilizer:


Green fertilizer (or green manure) is any cover crop or organic matter that is plowed back into the earth before it has decomposed. Compost, on the other hand, requires decomposition. The various elements of compost must be allowed to break down in a pile, pit, or bin before being used. Green fertilizer is still fresh, alive, or "green."

While both are soil amendments, the benefits of compost go beyond soil fertility. Although it takes more time to create, compost feeds an immense number of beneficial insects and microbes that in turn enhance the soil structure.

Choosing the Right Crop

The leaves of the Calliandra calothyrsus tree are high in nitrogen which makes it an excellent producer of green fertilizer. Other nitrogen-fixing trees and crops can be used to create green fertilizer as well.