Category Archives: Cover Crop

Cover Crops in the Home Garden

One of the new ways of farming and gardening is to use cover crops to improve the soil structure and nutrients, instead of the traditional tilling and chemical fertilizers.

Here’s a free book on the benefits of using cover crops on a farm. I’m going to try and bring some of these concepts to the home garden.
Managing Cover Crops Profitably.

Here’s another great source of Cover Crop Information from the USDA.
http://www.ars.usda.gov/services/software/263/CCC%202016_1.22.16_final.pdf

I decided to try this on a test area that I use mainly for tropical milkweed. It’s one of the few areas in my yard that is open enough to plant extra seed.

March 16th I planted the Interseed Mix from Walnut Creek Seeds. I used half the packet and will reserve half in case the first seeding does poorly.  I will later on plant my milkweed and hope all the crops will co-exist.

cover-crop

walnut-farms-01
Below is what the cover crop looks like on April 27th.

cover-crop-02

I next used my trimmer and cut most of plants down to a couple inches high so that I could plant my milkweed. I’m not sure how much the cover crop will recover.

cover-crop-03

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

You can see from the picture below that the cover crop came back dramatically and is growing faster than my milkweed in some places.

  • Angelia Phacelia – pretty flower – dead by July 1st.
  • Barley – gets large and turning brown around July 1st. I would not plant this again – too much maintenance.
  • Crimson Clover – 12 34
  • Flax – poor germination
  • Millet – poor germination.
  • Radish – fast grower and tall – cut it down about June 1st.

cover-crop-04
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Other Cover Crops

Crimson Clover – planted in the fall.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Fall Cover Crops

This is another seed mix from Walnut Creek Seeds

cover-crop-fall-01

cover-crop-fall-02

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Notes from video below.

  • Legumes add Nitrogen, but they have to be inoculated – most come pre-inoculated.
  • Crimson clover – his favorite cover crop – usually winter kills, makes a lot of Nitrogen.- earthworms love it – easy to kill.
  • Radish tops scavenge more nitrogen than the tubers – don’t throw this away. Leave on the soil?
  • http://plantcovercrops.com/ – articles are old.
  • dave@plantcovercrops.com

Crimson Clover

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Cover Crop, Experiments, Fertilizer, Gardening, soil

Soil Health – No Till

I’ve been watching and reading about soil health and will put the information I find on this page.

Here are some of the things I’m going to try.

  • No fertilizer in the garden beds – instead add compost to the top. Let the earthworms bring down the compost to the lower levels of the soil.
  • No fertilizer on lawns – try and find someone who will spread fine compost onto the soil.
  • Rotate plants – move plants around to different areas
  • Cover crops? I am trying this for one area in Spring 2015.
    http://www.walnutcreekseeds.com/pricing-ordering/
  • Gabe Brown’s program

Cover Crops for Home Gardens

Ray Archuleta’s Soil Health Demonstration

Below – this is a long video, but has a lot of great information.

Gabe Brown

Under Cover Farmers Video

More Resources

Comments Off on Soil Health – No Till

Filed under Cover Crop, soil