Organic No-Till Cover Cropping 4: Weed 'Em and Reap Part 2

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Source

Weed 'Em and Reap Part 2: Reduced tillage strategies for vegetable cropping systems [DVD]. A. Stone. 2006. Oregon State University Dept. of Horticulture. Corvallis, Oregon. Available at: http://www.weedemandreap.org (verified 17 Dec 2008).

Featuring

Mark Schonbeck. Virginia Association for Biological Farming. Floyd, VA. 

Audio Text

Winter-Killed Cover Crops

What we have here are some cover crops that were planted in the middle of July, with the objective of growing a lot of biomass and then allowing it to frost-kill. The advantage to this is that it leaves a mulch in place at the end of winter, so that a farmer can plant early spring vegetable crops without tillage. So many of the systems that have been studied and researched and developed and utilized, involve either an over-winter cover crop, which is suitable for May and June planting of vegetables, or an early summer cover crop, which is mowed or rolled about this time of year for late summer and fall crops. And what this opens up is the possibility of planting no-till peas, onions, spinach, lettuce, early broccoli, early cabbage, in the early spring. Another advantage of this system, is you’re not depending on being able to mechanically kill. That means farmers who are operating on a small scale with limited resources and only have a limited range of equipment, don’t have to worry, “How am I going to mow or roll this thing down so it won’t come back?” because the winter will take care of it.