winter cover crop

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cover crop seeds

For a cover crop this year I am trying Johnny’s winter green manure mix. It sounds like most of the nitrogen fixing components are cold sensitive and will winter kill (field peas and clover), while others (winter rye) are cold hardy. If the fall is mild, I’ll get a good growth of the first group. If it gets cold soon, I’ll just have the rye. I think vetch is a more cold hardy and also builds nitrogen. I’ll keep and eye on these and see how they do.

I planted this same mix in my squash bed a few weeks ago and its sprouted nicely. But I ran out of seed and had to order more. I guess I spread seed thicker than recommended. I planted this entire 1 pound package on my new space (about 320 sq ft), while it was supposed to cover 1000 sq feet. I just spread it manually and hate the thought of not having enough.

I’ll have to pick up some winter rye seed at my local True Value. Its pretty cheap seed. I’ll use this for other spaces that I don’t clear out until frost.

Here’s a really good site with information on cover crops for the home garden (Oregon St Univ Extension).

topic: soil

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