The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Fall 2022 cover crop experiments

As the summer garden season winds down, I'm filling gaps not needed for cool-season veggies with cover crops. And, in addition to my old standbys, I'm running a few experimental plantings this year.

My focus is trying to find at least one legume I heartily recommend in a no-till system. Summer-planted hairy vetch, unfortunately, is not it. The flowers are just starting to pop up and they're quite pretty, but the cover crop grew so slowly during its early life that the bed is more full of weeds than vetch.

I'm hoping experiment 2 and/or 3 will yield better results. I interseeded crimson clover amid half of my oats last month on the theory that a grain will cover the ground fast enough to deal with the weed issue while the legume will still be able to find its feet and add nitrogen to the soil. On a similar vein, I'll be planting a mixed bed of rye and hairy vetch next week.

Stay tuned for results in the spring!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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