Sunday, September 29, 2013

cover cropping

This year I am adding a new step to the things that we do to improve the soil vitality and I am planting cover crops.  Cover crops that are planted in the fall and left in place until spring and then turned under serve several purposes.  They help keep the soil in place and reduces the amount lost to wind or erosion.  They provide a type of green manure that feeds the soil as well as reducing weeds the following year.

I was looking for a local source to obtain a cover crop and happened into Runnings to see if they had anything available.  They had a rye seed but it was a perennial and in visiting with one  of the staff she said that she uses oats for her cover crop needs.  Runnings does sell oats.  It is found in the equine section and it looks like this:
Yep.  Horse feed.  My goal is to cover crop each raised row in the garden as it is harvested and to create raised rows where they did not get made in the spring.  I am not sure what to do with the corn ground.  I am not sure if I will get all the corn stalks out of there in time to get a cover crop planted and growing this fall.  It may be a spring project.  We still have lots of crops still in the ground.  today was a beautiful day to be working outside.  It was crisp and cool this morning and sunny and warm this afternoon.  Yesterday's 4/10th of an inch of rain left the ground moist but by the end of the day it was not really muddy.  I was able to get cover crops planted on five rows, two of which were new raised rows.  I picked up the long grass clippings from yesterday's mowing and spread it on a couple of the walking and picking rows and mowed in front of the house.  Still lots of mowing to do and lots of places to spread grass clippings.  I love fall.

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