Cover Crop for Central Texas

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Beststash, May 30, 2004.

  1. Beststash

    Beststash Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Nov 7, 2003
    Location:
    Liberal Texas (Austin)
    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.
     
  2. shepmom

    shepmom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    825
    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Location:
    USA
    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
     

  3. shepmom

    shepmom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    825
    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Location:
    USA
    www.territorialseed.com

    lists:
    Summer-Sown Cover Crops

    Buckwheat (need to mow before it seeds)
    WW4416

    Medic Mix
    WW4418

    Nitro Alfalfa
    WW4417

    Oats
    WW4414

    Piper Sudan Grass
    WW4401

    Soybeans
    WW4419

    Yellow Blossom Sweet Clover
    WW4415
     
  4. charles

    charles Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    90
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    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.