cover crop

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by nobs, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. nobs

    nobs Well-Known Member

    Apr 6, 2005
    I live in Southeast Indiana. I have heard of cover crops but would like to know what they do for the ground, and what is the best one for my area. Do you just throw down like grass seed and till in the spring? Thanks.
  2. Fourthistles

    Fourthistles Well-Known Member

    Feb 24, 2003
    I'm in Wyoming so I'm not sure what your neighbors might use, but annual rye grass i swhat we use. We clean out the garden, till, then broadcast the seed and ignore it. It comes up before winter really sets in and it looks like our garden is a lawn- we call it the garden sweater. It dies over winter and we till it in the spring. It does a couple of things: it keeps the soil from blowing if we have too little snow and plenty of wind during winter and it adds organic matter to the soil and keeps it nice and loose. We have a lot of clay here and the cover crops really helps with soil condition. Buckwheat is also a recommended crop. If you get rye, be sure to specify ANNUAL or you'll get lawn grass!

  3. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    Rye is a good winter cover crop in Indiana. This is grain rye, not rye grass that they sell for lawns at WallMart. It comes up in the fall and stays green all winter. It starts growing really early in the spring and gets big quick. Getting it worked into the soil will take a moldboard plow or a good reartine tiller used after it is chopped up good with a lawn mower. The main benifit is the humus that tilling it into the soil creates. Often refered to as green manure.
    Getting the seed would have to be though a farmer or a farm seed and fertilizer business.
  4. CoonXpress

    CoonXpress Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Kingston, Ok
    I'm getting ready to plant Austrian Winter Peas. They're winter-hardy here in Ok, plus they add nitrogen and can use a hoe to break the plants apart.
  5. Hillbilly Don

    Hillbilly Don Active Member

    Jun 14, 2003
    I live in Tennessee and grow 3 or 4 of buckwheat,to improve the soil,etc. and finish the season with annual rye. All is tilled into the soil.
  6. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2005
    Bristol, ny
    winter rye and buckwheat are great. buckwheat gets taller and smothers weeds too, its easier to till cause it contains alot of water. great soil conditioners
  7. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2003
    Verndale MN
    Winter rye also kills weeds by releasing a chemical from its roots. I planted winter rye & hairy vetch last Sept. and left it all summer. Weeds would start growing and then die. Winter rye makes really good late/early grazing too, so you can add manure without any effort.