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My Cover Crop(s)

 
William James
gardener
Posts: 1009
Location: Northern Italy
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Hi,
I'm preparing my lightly slashed, un-tilled (for the season) cover crops. I plan to sow them early in the year and try to win the war against agressive pioneers and/or get more useful organic material to live and die on my plot. My soil is heavy clay and I have no irrigation, hence all the roots. I'm doing several hugelculture patches (4-ish, 1 is done) and the total area is about 100-150 meters square (0.3 acre or less). I have free invasive black locust, but the people who own the place want them slashed, 
Oh, and I'll be doing much more with Sunchokes next year with this year's seeds.

Here's my current strategy. Any observations or suggestions are very welcome.

Roots:
-Daikon
-Forage Carrots
-Yellow Clover
-Mullein
-Dandelion

Nitrogen Fixing:
-Alfalfa
-Red Clover
-Yellow Clover

Nitrogen Sucking:
-Oats
-My plants, hopefully.

Trace Minerals
-Dandelion (Trace)
-Lemon Balm (Phosphorus)
-Borage (Potassium)





 
                                          
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Sorry because I don't have any substance to add, so I'll just say way to go!

I'm learning this as well so I'm following this topic for sure!

Cheers
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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OT, but I'm pretty sure sunchoke seed's sterile, but you may mean the tubers. They are very much not sterile!
I'd be wary of planting lemon balm (or any mint) actually in your beds as it's really rampant.
I always suggest favas in the 'nitrogen fixing' camp. They also provide huge amounts of organic matter and bonus carbon if slashed when mature. And they're edible
 
William James
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Posts: 1009
Location: Northern Italy
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Leila Rich wrote:you may mean the tubers. They are very much not sterile!

Yeah, the tubers. Planning on getting a big group of those.

I'd be wary of planting lemon balm (or any mint) actually in your beds as it's really rampant.

Duly noted. I'll keep them out of the beds. Then if it's rampant, great. I like agressive plants that I have to cut back and also can do something with.

I always suggest favas in the 'nitrogen fixing' camp.

Planned on favas in the beds with eggplant. All the rest of the cover crop are for non-bed areas. Sorry for the confusion. But yeah. I like favas too. Bought a bag the other day.
thanks,
william
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Ah, permanent-ish stuff.
NZ white/Dutch clover's great for a low-gowing thing. Sometimes walking  on, rather than wading through makes a nice change
Comfrey.
Plantain (the forb, not the banana) if the soil's not really alkaline.
My parsnips self-seeded and popped up everywhere. They can go down deep and the insects go nuts for the flowers.
Achillea (yarrow) is really drought-resistant, a great compost activator, medicinal plant and insect food. Good thing it's amazing, since you couldn't get rid of it if you tried!
 
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