• 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:
  • Anne Miller
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Dave Burton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • Greg Martin
  • Carla Burke
  • Ash Jackson
  • Kate Downham

Cover Crop Management Strategy for Hugelkultur

Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Everyone,
I have nearly an acre of new hugelkultur beds cover cropped with oats, peas, and red clover. I completed construction in September 2014. I intend to plant these beds by mid-May 2015 (predominantly artichoke and strawberry,) and I'm trying to decide how to best prepare the soil. I would prefer not to till for a variety of reasons: (1) erosion, (2) time required to operate small rototiller, (3) difficultly incorporating larger pieces of organic matter below the 4" of topsoil, (4) compaction of soil caused by walking all over beds. Any suggestions for managing these cover crops here in Southern Oregon? I'm considering mowing the annual plants, let's say early May, and letting them dry up for a couple weeks before covering the beds with a heavy straw mulch. Then planting my perennials into the straw mulch. My concern, however, is that the oats in particular will just grow through my mulch and compete with the not yet established strawberries and artichokes.

How have you managed your hugelkultur after the first cover cropped winter?
[Thumbnail for 1609593_694836370587136_6257577731042826470_n.jpg]
Posts: 531
Location: North-Central Idaho, 4100 ft elev., 24 in precip
hugelkultur fungi trees books food preservation
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Cut it down before the oats go to seed if that's your biggest concern. I wouldn't bother tilling, that's one of the big benefits of the woody beds (they kinda' till themselves). Just cut it down and mulch immediately (lock up that N for the soil).
Posts: 6667
Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
hugelkultur dog forest garden duck fish fungi hunting books chicken writing homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hau Tucker, I agree with Dave, just chop and drop the cover crops. All you have to do from there is poke holes for planting. Once the crops are started well, think about putting in some new cover crops that grow low around the chokes and I would spread a thick layer of straw under the strawberries. Think "no un covered ground", that way you can always keep your soil where you put it or want it to stay.
Garden Mastery Academy - Module 1: Dare to Dream
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic