From winter cover crop to healthy seed bed


Meadowlark

Gardner, Angler, Adjunct Professor, and Rancher
Joined
Feb 5, 2019
Messages
347
Reaction score
306
Location
East Texas
Hardiness Zone
8
Country
United States
First step is to plant the seed in the fall. Elbon rye, crimson clover, turnips, Austrian peas, oats, wheat, buck wheat, etc etc. Here in zone 8 I like to get 'em started early Oct. but earlier and later works also. I keep some space for winter crops and cover the rest.

cover 2019.JPG


As Nov. rolls into Dec, , the cover flourishes protecting the soil from weeds and building the fertility naturally

cover dec 2019.JPG


January through early March the soil building continues as green manure organic matter grows and grows.


winter cover 2020.JPG


Here in Zone 8 early March is time to start the seed bed preparation. The beautiful cover crop is shredded, left to dry a few days, and then turned under into the soil. Tons of organic matter with unmatched soil building magic that money can't buy.

winter cover shredded 2020.JPG



In a matter of days the seed beds are prepared in the rich organic laced soil. Some of the cover is saved for hay mulch on the tomato plants as shown but the vast majority is returned to the soil. This is an unequaled seed bed that will now be planted in corn, beans and peas and then the summer cover crop cycle will start. It is a continuous process here from winter cover to production to summer cover to production and back to winter cover again.

seed bed 2 2020.JPG
 
Ad

Advertisements

Meadowlark

Gardner, Angler, Adjunct Professor, and Rancher
Joined
Feb 5, 2019
Messages
347
Reaction score
306
Location
East Texas
Hardiness Zone
8
Country
United States
It is certainly very common in this area. I call it goatweed....but I wouldn't say it is a problem on my place.

Good grazing practices e.g. not overgrazing and regular pasture mowing seems to easily keep it in check. Abandoned fields and especially overgrazed areas can be very prominent with it. In my garden, its seed just does not stand a chance to take hold with the cover crop practice.

Thanks for the question.
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
182
Reaction score
34
Country
United States
That has to be the most beautiful sandy loam I've ever seen Meadowlark! I live in black gumbo clay that's very alkaline and almost unmanageable. Those people up north grow those megacrops have soil like yours. I've only fantasized about someday having soll like that but I'm too old now and will never have it. I bet the pH is around 6.2 to 6.8 perfect for growing large crops very fast.. I can tell you know what you are doing and you are doing it good too! Breathtaking Photos!!
 

Meadowlark

Gardner, Angler, Adjunct Professor, and Rancher
Joined
Feb 5, 2019
Messages
347
Reaction score
306
Location
East Texas
Hardiness Zone
8
Country
United States
Thanks for the comments oneeye. Much appreciated. Yes the ph is a perfect 6.5.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
182
Reaction score
34
Country
United States
6.5 perfect! I look forward to seeing your grow this year and will be watching. Thank you for sharing!
 
Ad

Advertisements


Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top