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Cover Crops

Posted by Lucy62 none (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 11, 13 at 20:11

Hello!

I am doing a project on the use of cover crops in gardens, and I was wondering if people could help me out by answering these quick questions:
a) do you use cover crops in your garden (if you have a garden)
b) are you interested in learning more about cover crops?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Cover Crops

A) Have not used cover crops yet - plan to and have the seed for it though.

B) I think forum lurkers are always interested in learning more about anything. :-)


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RE: Cover Crops

a] I do use cover crops
b] I already have learned a lot about them


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RE: Cover Crops

a) I use crimson clover and ryegrass in the winter
b) I can always learn something new


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RE: Cover Crops

Only if you count weeds as a "cover crop".


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RE: Cover Crops

  • Posted by ReyC none (My Page) on
    Fri, Nov 15, 13 at 14:51

I would like to start using cover crop for this winter but I believe that it might be too late for me in NC. Either that or the window is quickly closing. And yes, I would love to learn more.


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RE: Cover Crops

I use winter rye as a cover crop. This is the second year I have done this. I don't need any additional info.


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RE: Cover Crops

1. I use cereal rye, white clover, and hairy vetch.
2. I highly recommend "Managing Cover Crops Profitably" which reminds one that there are at least six different reasons for covers, different species do different jobs, and in which the characters of each species is described in detail.
Regards, Peter.


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RE: Cover Crops

I have used feed oats for several years now planting in mid Sept., works extremely well. This year I tried planting soybeans for a cover in the Summer, ripped them up as the pods started to fatten up with seed, shredded and tilled them just prior to planting the oats. Wow, the canopy from the beans was so dense there wasn't even one tiny weed under it, talk about an effective cover crop! The oats are still alive but not growing and about a foot tall. I mowed the oats about a month ago to keep them from going to seed and reduce their height. the final height I want for the oats is about a foot which greatly aids in catching leaves blowing around in the Fall and gives me something to mow close to the ground that will get tilled in in the Spring along with the leaves for the warm season vegetable crops. I really like the 2 cover rotation and can't wait to see how that plot performs next year. The reasons I went with those 2 choices is that that I can get the seed free from friends and both crops are outstanding in this area. I've also learned that the oats do a great job of mellowing the soil for easy Spring tillage and do a fair job of weed control as long as the weather stays (typically) dry and I don't irrigate them unless absolutely necessary. Oh yeah, the oats are my nitrogen mop crop for any N left around from the preceding veggie crops.

Some day I may get bold and try a single crop to last the entire growing season like Hairy Vetch, it would be really nice to only plant once and be done for the season except for maybe some irrigation.


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RE: Cover Crops

To answer the second question first....I'd love to learn more about cover cropping, particularly as it relates to Florida's zone 9 sandy alkaline soils.

In a 4ft X 4ft area I've tried a mixture of cow pea and buckwheat. I just clipped them down yesterday after about a 6 week period. They went to flower, were about a foot tall and attracted lots of insects. Frankly, I don't know what to do from here (only my 2nd year gardening)...

Some sources say to mow and till in while others just recommend leaving them on the soil surface as mulch and allow them to decompose with time...

Anyhow............any information would be appreciated!!


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RE: Cover Crops

Greene, IME 'tilling in' a green cover in central florida sand is not a good strategy, especially not during winter when it is so dry. Florida sand is a very different environment from most soils in moister, cooler conditions as occur in most parts of temperate north america - the decay cycle is not vigorous at all.

Clipping that cover and leaving the debris on the surface is not a bad plan. If you can find some brassica transplants this is not a bad time to stick some into that plot and let them benefit from some accumulated fertility. If you can mulch over the cut cover crop with leaves or hay around the brassicas even better.


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RE: Cover Crops

A. Yes

B. Yes


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