Square Foot Gardening Forum

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
by trolleydriver Today at 2:42 pm

» New England, December 2016
by CapeCoddess Today at 2:28 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by countrynaturals Today at 2:08 pm

» AtlantaMarie's Garden
by countrynaturals Today at 2:04 pm

» Tomato Tuesday 2016
by countrynaturals Today at 2:01 pm

» Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave
by donnainzone5 Today at 1:56 pm

» N&C Midwest: December 2016
by sanderson Today at 1:44 pm

» Mychorrhizae Fungi
by audrey.jeanne.roberts Today at 1:28 pm

» December 2016 Avatar: Show your Winter Season Colors!
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 11:17 pm

» SFG not giving the results I expected
by No_Such_Reality Yesterday at 7:21 pm

» New Member
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 4:14 pm

» Mid-Atl - Dec 2016 - Seed Catalog ?
by CapeCoddess Yesterday at 12:32 pm

» Live and learn
by jimmy cee Yesterday at 10:56 am

» First season SFG results / lessons learned
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 10:36 am

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing December 2016
by Kelejan Yesterday at 9:46 am

» Mid-South: December 2016
by sanderson Yesterday at 3:39 am

» 1st Seed Catalog Arrived :)
by sanderson Yesterday at 3:30 am

» Eat Broccoli Leaves? Brussels Sprouts? Cauliflower?
by sanderson Yesterday at 2:55 am

» Winter's Coming!
by sanderson Yesterday at 2:53 am

» Dry versus fresh spices to infuse vinegar
by sanderson Yesterday at 2:50 am

» 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by sanderson Yesterday at 1:28 am

» Holy snow Batman!
by sanderson 12/2/2016, 5:46 pm

» Senseless Banter...
by MrBooker 12/2/2016, 5:17 pm

» Blanching and Freezing Vegetables
by sanderson 12/2/2016, 4:59 pm

» Your Christmas wish list?
by sanderson 12/2/2016, 4:29 pm

» SFG Adventure of a first time gardener in ND
by sanderson 12/2/2016, 4:14 pm

» Second Year SFG in Canada
by trolleydriver 12/2/2016, 2:59 pm

» Fusion Life Brands Power XL pressure cooker
by CapeCoddess 12/2/2016, 2:39 pm

» Asia Region -Showcase of Gardens - Show Us Yours
by sanderson 12/2/2016, 2:14 pm

» December: What to plant in Northern California and Central Valley areas
by countrynaturals 12/2/2016, 1:13 pm

Google

Search SFG Forum

If I don't plant this year, is a cover or cover crop needed?

View previous topic View next topic Go down

If I don't plant this year, is a cover or cover crop needed?

Post  mariana1517 on 4/23/2015, 5:54 pm

Due to an unexpectedly very busy summer, it is now looking like I will not have time to take care of my beds this year. I have 3 beds, 4' x 6' each (on the ground, not elevated), and all are filled with Mel's Mix.

I was originally thinking of just covering each box with a heavy tarp weighted around all the edges to keep weed seeds out and preserve the mix, but I got to thinking that maybe a thick cover crop might be better. If so, what sort of cover crop would be best, and should I till it in at the end of the season or pull it out?

Many thanks for your thoughts!

mariana1517

Posts : 1
Join date : 2015-04-23
Location : northern Midwest

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: If I don't plant this year, is a cover or cover crop needed?

Post  Kelejan on 4/23/2015, 6:26 pm

My first thought was a mulch of some kind. Leaves or grass, but something that was alive and can give nourishment to the soil.

Kelejan

Female Posts : 4488
Join date : 2011-04-24
Age : 81
Location : Castlegar, British Columbia

View user profile http://www.castlegarinkspot.ca

Back to top Go down

Re: If I don't plant this year, is a cover or cover crop needed?

Post  Turan on 4/23/2015, 8:54 pm

I would plant an annual green manure crop like buckwheat or field peas.  You then have the choice in the fall of either composting in a pile or leaving to make a mulch to plant through in the following spring. 
Or I would heavily seed in an annual flower mix.

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Belgrade, MT
Click for weather forecast

Turan

Female Posts : 1999
Join date : 2012-03-29
Location : Gallatin Valley, Montana, Intermountain zone 4

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: If I don't plant this year, is a cover or cover crop needed?

Post  quiltbea on 4/23/2015, 11:30 pm

Just make sure you plant a cover crop that dies in the winter or you'll be fighting that cover crop come spring.  I had that problem one year.
Now I just add compost instead of cover crops.

quiltbea

Female Posts : 4613
Join date : 2010-03-21
Age : 74
Location : Southwestern Maine Zone 5A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: If I don't plant this year, is a cover or cover crop needed?

Post  yolos on 4/24/2015, 11:15 am

@Turan wrote:I would plant an annual green manure crop like buckwheat or field peas.  You then have the choice in the fall of either composting in a pile or leaving to make a mulch to plant through in the following spring. 
Or I would heavily seed in an annual flower mix.

I agree with the Buckwheat or field peas in the summer.  I used buckwheat in the early  fall and cut it down and turned it under in late fall before flowering.  I don't know if it will put out a lot of seeds that will sprout in the spring if you let it flower (I cut it down just as it was starting to flower).  In late fall, I planted annual rye grass in one bed and winter peas (I think they are Austrian Winter Peas) in another bed.  The peas made a massive ground cover and were cut down in the early spring, one half the green growth was composted and one half was turned under.


Here is a picture of the Buckwheat after about 30 days.  It will flower and look real pretty if left in the ground to mature.


Here is a picture of the annual rye grass in the background and winter peas in the foreground.

And here is the winter pea bed just before I cut it down and turned it under.

yolos

Female Posts : 2856
Join date : 2011-11-20
Age : 66
Location : Brooks, Ga Zone 7B/8A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: If I don't plant this year, is a cover or cover crop needed?

Post  sanderson on 4/24/2015, 11:57 am

Yolos, This winter was the first time you tried this, correct?

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Fresno, CA
Click for weather forecast

sanderson

Forum Administrator

Female Posts : 12255
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 68
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: If I don't plant this year, is a cover or cover crop needed?

Post  has55 on 4/24/2015, 12:12 pm

in texas, i planted winter rye grass and it has been a nuisance for the last 3 year. dirtdoctor told not to plant it, but I was hard headed. It slowly dying back each year, almost gone, I just found out from the company that cut my yard, that they put down weed killer each year then replant grass. I was not aware how the business around town got rid of it, Now I know. I have not use it in my SFG beds. I planned to grow beans this summer for food , nitrogen fixation and cover crop, rye grass is ok in some zones, it will die and not return, but not here, unless you kill it out.

has55

Posts : 1360
Join date : 2012-05-10
Location : Denton, tx

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: If I don't plant this year, is a cover or cover crop needed?

Post  yolos on 4/24/2015, 12:46 pm

@sanderson wrote:Yolos,  This winter was the first time you tried this, correct?

Yes, this was the first time I tried green manure/cover crops and I only planted in the 4 x 32 foot bed that is only partially Mel's Mix.  I think I made the first 8 feet completely Mel's Mix (that is the area where the winter peas are growing).  The rest of the bed was the top soil from my old row garden to which I have been adding vermiculite and compost every year so it is getting closer to Mel's Mix but still has some soil in the bed (where the buckwheat and rye grass are growing).

yolos

Female Posts : 2856
Join date : 2011-11-20
Age : 66
Location : Brooks, Ga Zone 7B/8A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: If I don't plant this year, is a cover or cover crop needed?

Post  Turan on 4/24/2015, 4:58 pm

My recommendations of buckwheat and field peas were based on them being annuals that grow thick enough to keep out weeds.  They won't persist.  Also the OP is in northern MidWest, a place with a true winter and break in the garden season.  So these plants will die in the fall when it frosts and then act as a sheet compost/blanket over the beds for the winter.   This will keep the MM an active ecosystem.

Even up here I would not recommend a rye grass.  Though I have used it successfully myself, that was with a tiller to employ.

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Belgrade, MT
Click for weather forecast

Turan

Female Posts : 1999
Join date : 2012-03-29
Location : Gallatin Valley, Montana, Intermountain zone 4

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: If I don't plant this year, is a cover or cover crop needed?

Post  Sponsored content Today at 3:20 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum