• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Haasl
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Dave Burton
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • Greg Martin
  • Steve Thorn
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
  • Kate Downham

killing cover crops in no till

 
Posts: 274
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm a little confused about the permie-acceptable method for killing cover crops.

Conventional farmers use rollers then herbicides. They use seed drills to plant into the stubble.

Some choose to use winter kill cover crops. This doesn't work in warmer climates.

Corn and soybeans can be sowed directly into the stubble. I assume this wouldn't work for smaller seeds that need to be sown more shallowly. Do I need to chop it down and rake the stubble out of the bed?

 
pollinator
Posts: 3588
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
88
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
chop and drop as mulch in the bed for transplants. For seeds, you need to rake most of it back where you seed and then bring it back over as mulch as soon as they can handle it.
 
Posts: 62
Location: Maine
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I use a scythe for cover crops. A machete for the Maize stalks. You could also trample a cover crop.

It's typical to move mulch out of the way to plant vegetables in a no-till garden e.g. 5:40 - 6:00 in this video :



 
pollinator
Posts: 4665
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
462
hugelkultur forest garden fungi books bee greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
See the work of Helen Atthowe.

Here is a thread with some videos.

https://permies.com/t/33339/plants/clover-vegetables-aware
 
gardener
Posts: 856
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think the "permie acceptable method" is the one that results in a net increase in ecosystem energy stored over time for you and your situation. I chop and drop, cut and carry, and till depending on circumstance.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
18
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
i use chickens to get the cover crops pressed to the soil, damaged to the point there is little to no regrowth and manured as well. a mobile coop and mobile fence works very well.

depending on the crop, a scythe works well too. there will be more regrowth this way imo. but as long as your crop gets ahead it smothers the regrowth.
 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
Posts: 856
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just to rap on the chicken thing... I've had a stronger suppression of existing veg by adding chickens and mulch. To that end, I have cut an area with a scythe, and then concentrated the cuttings with chickens on a smaller area to shift vegetation to a mulched crop. I think the mulch encouraged the scratching and the continuously moved mulch starves the underlying veg for light.
 
Posts: 947
Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
53
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sow your seed BEFORE you chop and drop the existing vegetation.

If it's seed that requires light to germinate, remove the mulch until your crop is ready for it.

One alternative that works well in a climate with fairly soggy springs is scorching by weed-torch. These can be fueled just as easily by home-distilled ethanol as by fossil fuels. Note that this is scorching, NOT burning. The point is to apply enough heat to kill the plants by internal boiling, not to chemically alter their structures and send part of them up in smoke.

EDIT: just a reminder if you chose the weed-torch route, be careful to focus the heat into the higher parts of the plants [most winter covercrops get quite tall, thankfully] so you aren't damaging the soil life too much.
 
Posts: 323
Location: Pittsburgh PA
18
duck forest garden fungi trees chicken woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am not sure how big of an area you are gardening. A stomp board works well. And can be built for beds, or larger areas. A board with a sharpened piece of angle iron attacted, with a rope, works like a crimper. But you can cut a little below the stubble, with the sharp edge and human accuracy, it's kinda like a broad fork, turned crimper/cutter. Got the idea from crop circle artists.
http://ufologie.patrickgross.org/htm/cropmarks.htm

http://www.circlemakers.org/tools.html

and a chunk of board, old bed frame, and a method to sharpen it, all cheap or free. If people can make intricate designs, in the dark, over acres, overnight...you could see how fast this works.

And then go back and chop stubborn stubble with a smaller version

http://www.bookofjoe.com/2006/04/throwback_child.html

with a hybrid of

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_12800_12800

Go back through with a wheel hoe with two hill turners outward, to displace mulch and create a seed path. Plant, thin, and then use a soft rake to pull the much back.
 
Posts: 1526
Location: Fennville MI
59
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nothing wrong with a crimper-roller. Just a question of scale whether it is appropriate or not. I have seen one built around a 55 gallon drum that was right sized for 4 foot beds. Chop and drop with cutter of your choice, but that rather misses the point of rolling and crimping. The stomp board sounds like a nice small scale tool that serves the crimper purpose.
That kind of cover is not always appropriate, the trick with permaculture is recognizing which approach fits your situation.
 
expectation is the root of all heartache - shakespeare. tiny ad:
BWB second printing, pre-order dealio (poor man's poll)
https://permies.com/t/147624/BWB-printing-pre-order-dealio
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic