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Planting oats too early

Blooming oats

What happens if you plant oats for a cover crop too early (before August 1 in our zone 6 garden)?  They go to seed rather than winter-killing in the vegetative stage.

If you catch the oats just as they begin to bloom, though, I'm thinking you can scatter rye seeds over the bed, cut the oats down, and get a second round of biomass-building in the same season.  Time will tell whether that experiment works.

Weedy cover crops

Why did I plant oats so early?  I've been trying to grow biomass in the back garden for most of the last year, but it's been so wet (and that area is always so soggy) that buckwheat wouldn't grow.  Oats and rye are the two cover crops that have proven their ability to deal with waterlogged clay soil, so I went ahead and planted the former on July 22.  Due to weeds that crept into the poor stand of buckwheat early in the season, I'll be kill mulching the whole garden area anyway, so a few oat seeds shouldn't make much difference.

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