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Why I Keep Reading

March 5th, 2013

Why do I continually read gardening books even though I’m fairly knowledgeable on the subject? Because every now and then I come across a gem like this:

“Another unique use of cover crops is in the strawberry bed. Recent research has shown that after fruiting, June-bearing strawberry plants are very tolerant of shade. A cover crop–of oats, for example–sown right in the strawberry bed after the berries have been gathered can shade out weeds through the growing season, then eventually flop down dead to provide the mulch in which strawberry plants thrive.”

Lee Reich – from Weedless Gardening

cover crops 1
The section on cover crops in this book is fantastic. Since it’s a no-till garden book, he focuses on the cover crops that are easy to kill without tilling in. In fact the cover crop chart in this book is fenomenal, worth ready the book for. The remainder of the book wasn’t anything too exciting.
cover crops 2
cover crops 3
I’ve always had good luck with rye and vetch, I simply cut them in the late spring and let the foliage compost on the ground. I’ve never had issues with it growing back or causing problems. This year I’m looking forward to trying a few new cover crops, no doubt you’ll be reading all about them here.

What’s your favorite cover crop? Or have you never used them before?

Cover Crops and Carrots

August 23rd, 2010

Last Thursday I decided it was time to till under the patch of crimson clover I had growing as a cover crop on the new front garden area. I want to plant some winter rye here for an overwintering cover crop. It should help improve the quality of the soil in this area.

The problem was I had a small patch of carrots still left in a small part of this garden area that weren’t quite up to size. I decided I’d rather harvest them small and replant the entire area with a beneficial crop. The carrots were on the smaller size, but I was still impressed with my harvest and with the carrots.

I’ll be planted the winter rye next week most likely, as you’re supposed to allow the previous cover crop to decompose for two weeks before planting something else.

Do you ever harvest things early to get something else planted?

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.