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I need some advice on what might be the best cover crop for the garden in Central Texas??

I usually plant rye for fall/winter and after the heat starts this time of year and shred the rye, I would like to plant a cover for the unused portion. To date, I have tried Buckwheat - works well but when it gets really hot (July, August) it will begin to flower and seed real quick and almost had a problem last year. Cowpeas do well in the heat and could possibly be the solution. I am however concerned about not rotating and beginning to have disease/pest problems for future legumes.

Any suggestions??

Thanks in advance.
 

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Beststash said:
I need some advice on what might be the best cover crop for the garden in Central Texas??

I usually plant rye for fall/winter and after the heat starts this time of year and shred the rye, I would like to plant a cover for the unused portion. To date, I have tried Buckwheat - works well but when it gets really hot (July, August) it will begin to flower and seed real quick and almost had a problem last year. Cowpeas do well in the heat and could possibly be the solution. I am however concerned about not rotating and beginning to have disease/pest problems for future legumes.

Any suggestions??

Thanks in advance.
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/quickref/soil/covercrops.html

One option for improving the soil is to grow a cover crop. The benefits of a cover or green manure crops are:
Increasing organic matter in the soil

Protecting the soil from wind and water erosion during fallow periods

Smothering unwanted weeds

Aerating compacted soil
Crops are divided into warm and cool season categories based on the optimum times to plant and grow. Prior to flowering and seed production, mow the cover crop, allow it to dry on the soil surface, and till the crop into the soil. Green manure crops are tilled in before they dry.
Cover Crops to Improve the Soil and Reduce Erosion
see chart.
**************
Cover Crops (PDF articles at this site)

Cover Crops for Vegetable Growers
Kansas State University AES/CES

Soil Organic Matter, Green Manures and Cover Crops for Nematode Management
University of Florida, IFAS

Tropical Green Manures/Cover Crops


Check your local cooperative extension in Texas for specific local tips.

HTH
 

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I recommend Sorghum Sudan or Millet. Both do well in the drought and heat and give plenty of cover. They really choke out the weeds.
 
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