Easy soil building with cover crops
How easy can it be to
build your soil? This patch of oats proves that two minutes of
planting in August can produce quite a bit of biomass.
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You may recall that our
forest garden had grown up in a truly distressing fashion this
summer. After Mark whacked
all of the weeds down with his weed eater, there was a lot of soil
that had been shaded bare by the huge wingstem and other weeds. I
tossed handfuls of oats on the ground and ignored
them, figuring they'd either come up or get eaten by birds.
I forgot to tell Mark
about my experiment, so he mowed through some of the cover crops, but
the patches he missed grew up quite nicely. They kept down any
late summer weeds and will probably provide semi-bare patches with a
light coating of mulch come spring. The soil won't be weed-free
and rich enough to plant vegetables directly into but will probably be
bare enough to plant a summer round of cover crops in the same quick
and dirty fashion. Those two minutes of gardening really paid off!