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need help with cover crops

Posted by catlady4444 7A (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 30, 09 at 6:18


This may be OT, but I need help---frugal help!

I am not new to gardening, but I am *done* with hand-pulling all the weeds each spring, or using tons of weed-killer, especially in the vegetable garden.

Can anyone direct me to good information for beginners with cover crops? I've looked everywhere on GW and I can't find this info!! Specifically, I need an inexpensive and low-labor way to keep my beds clear over the winter, or planted such that clearing them will be easy in the spring.

Thanks you!

Ann in 7A

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: need help with cover crops

A really thick layer of straw over the bed will work.

I use shredded tree branches because I have them for free.

RE: need help with cover crops

I usually put newspaper down before i mulch. then it's easy to pull everything up and compost it. no weeds and no more than an initial hour or two of work.

RE: need help with cover crops

Thank you---that sounds much easier to deal with in the spring than straw or wood chips---I've tried straw and get a ton of new weeds (it's always full of seeds, in my experience) and the free wood chips around here are very coarse (much more coarse than purchased shredded mulch) and wouldn't be my choice to leave in the garden when I plant in the spring. I'll start stocking up on newspaper---thank you!!


RE: need help with cover crops

Straw and HAY are not the same things.
Hay is grass cut and baled and as you say is usually loaded with seeds. Straw is the stalk of a grain crop and is mostly seedless. It needs to be put on thicker though because its stalky stuff and you need more stalks to make coverage.

RE: need help with cover crops

Put down several layers of newspaper, wet it, then cover with leaves, grass clippings, whatever to a depth of 3-4 inches. This will decompose over the winter and in the spring, all you have to do is pull away where you want to plant and leave the rest.

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