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Killing cover crop�organically, no-till.

Posted by west9491 6 (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 27, 14 at 17:00

After watching the usda series about soil health (thanks to whoever referred those vids), I have decided to try to stop tilling my veg garden, but I planted crimson clover and I need it to go away. And actually the clover barely came up so I can't just mow it up, it's barely standing out from the ground.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Killing cover crop�organically, no-till.

Looks like you may have to till.....what's so bad about tilling?

RE: Killing cover crop�organically, no-till.

How about heavily mulching the garden and when it's time to plant just pull it back enough to get your plant in. I've never dealt with clover but generally lack of light will kill most plants.

RE: Killing cover crop�organically, no-till.

The entire point of a cover crop is to work it back into the soil to release whatever nutrients it might have accumulated. Pretty near impossible to do without at least hand tilling.........

Just covering with some sort of mulch could work but only if you do not intend to plant the area this season. It will take time for the smothering to a) kill the plant and b) the plant actually begin to decompose.

Tilling the soil of a vegetable garden annually is not necessarily a bad thing, provided you do not over-do it. Multiple passes with a rototiller tends to destroy soil structure and create layers of hardpan. An occasional hand tilling or a single pass with a mini tiller to work in amendments or cover crop will NOT produce the same detrimental effect.

RE: Killing cover crop�organically, no-till.

You can remove it by cutting it off. Depending upon the age & height of the plants, you might be able to use a heavy duty mower.

Or you might need a scythe -- old school and definitely organic.

Then you can either leave it as mulch where it will slowly degrade on the soil surface. Or you can compost it and add it back to the soil later on.

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