Sideration is the plowing of green plant mass (green fertilizer) in the soil to enrich it with nitrogen and organic matter. The plants are either plowed on the roots rarely, they are mowed and used to fertilize another field or to compost. The plants which are used as green fertilizer are called “green manure crops” or “siderites”, and the plowing of plant green mass is the sideration. Sideration improves the soil structure and its physical properties, enriches the soil with organic matter, nitrogen, nutrients, increases the humus content. Most of green manure crops has the full-blown core structure of a root system with high ability to break through firm soil layers. Ripper abilities of green manure plants are enormous, and the cultivation of green manure crops on the areas with not too firm subarable layer can replace mechanical deep tillage of the soil to some extent and will help to prevent the formation of large, dense soil clumps that appear when plowing or digging.
One can manage to plow green manure crops in the soil without chopping plants if they are mowed young before the tough fibrous stems appear. But in this case the fertilizing effect will be less intensive as the mature parts of the plant have the highest nitrogen and protein compounds content.
The main functions of green manure are as follows:
to protect the soil from erosion (caused by water and wind);
to suppress weeds growth;
to improve water holding capacity in the soil;
to monitor temperature fluctuations;
to restore nutrients circulation;
to add nitrogen by biological fixation;
to improve the soil biology (macro and micro flora and fauna);
to eliminate firm soil layers;
to strengthen positive physical properties of the soil;
crop rotation with the use of different types of cover crops provide the soil balance and reduce problems with insects, pests and diseases (the soil and crops);
permanent addition of organic residues increases the content of organic carbon in the soil.