Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April Cover Crop Update

As spring progresses I am getting a better idea how the cover crops faired over the winter and what I like and don't like about each one.

Crimson Clover:
Everything I've read says crimson clover should over winter in our area. But most of it died. The green plants at the bottom of the picture are what is left of the clover. We did have a very cold winter, with many days of record breaking low temps, but I can't count on that never happening again. So scratch crimson clover off the list.          
Austrian Winter Peas:
These are my second biggest disappointment. I don't know if I planted them too late or not heavy enough but I am not happy with the sparseness of the planting. The gaps leave too much room for weeds to move in. If I try them again I will plant a little earlier and more thickly seeded.
Winter Rye:
This cover crop looks great. The plants are densely spaced, crowding out weeds. The final verdict will come in when I cut the rye, at pollen shed, and see how the roots die off.

The oats grew nicely in the fall then died back into a nice mat that should be good for planting transplants. Definitely something to grow again.

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