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Sowing after mowing on a wet clay terrain? Which seeds work best?

 
rodrigo cardoso
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Hi!
I searched this topic quite extensively but couldn't find what I am looking for. Maybe someone can point to it or answer here...

CONDITIONS:
I'm growing in raised beds in between trenches on a field that floods every winter because the city services covered the water drainage tube when they built the road. We finally uncovered it and it seems that the landscape of a wet clay terrain may finally change (The water above surface completely drained for the first time since a few years now). The upper part has weeds with strong and deep root systems, some tall and some short. The lowest part of the terrain has mostly tall weeds that look like long needles, as they are suited for all the water that never leaves the soil.

PLAN:
I'm starting to experiment easier and less busy ways of growing, starting with the upper part of the field where the easiest weeds are. In some parts I turned around chunks of dirt putting the roots turned up and the weeds turned down, and spread seed on it. It worked. But I would prefer to leave the digging work to the moles (that revealed themselves in many holes in the trenches between the raised beds). So I started mowing and leaving the cut weeds in the terrain, spreading seed of kale, turnips, beets, radish, endive, even beans and some more. It didn't rain as predicted, and it was one week ago only, so I have no results to share yet. But I'm a bit anxious. I don't want to loose the season start and end up with not much food and many small seedlings in raised beds that give a lot of work to water when the heat times arrive.

QUESTIONS:
a) Do you have experience with this sowing between the cut weeds or know if it can work? (The idea is that the cut weeds will make a darker environment for slowing the growth of the weeds while keeping moisture and helping the seeds to sprout)

b) Are there seeds that are better or exclusive of growing under the weeds, without covering them with dirt? and which should I use?

c) How much of the cut weeds should I leave in the terrain to cover the growing weeds and cover the seeds?

d) Are there better ways of doing things with little effort while keeping the ecosystem as intact as possible?

If anyone can help me with this challenge, I very much appreciate it. I'm a beginner in agriculture.
cheers
 
chad Christopher
Posts: 293
Location: Pittsburgh PA
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Yarrow, iron weed, baptisia (false indigo), echinacea, blazing star, bee balm, sedum, tabacco, dock.. Flowers and insects. Bradford pear, fig, and plum. Trees. Strawberry, potatoes, brassica, legumous things, fiddle heads. Crops. I'd recommend making some raised beds until you get that clay remediated.

Oh yeah, cover crops, nitro fixers, no till, compost, key line plowing, mulch mulch mulch. Take a look around, it will take a while to suck it all up, but yes there are methods. In the meantime, raised beds.

Myself, and others are going to want to know...where are you?
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Sometimes it works better to spread seed, then mow. Gets the seed in solid contact with the ground and mulches over top. Depends in soil, weeds, and type of seeds.
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1356
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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Spread seed them mow is the best way. I would also get a couple bags of kidney beans and and broadcast them too. The seeds are pretty big so most birds then not to eat them. You can also soak them for 18hrs before you boardcast them.
 
rodrigo cardoso
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Uaaau! I'm loving this forum! I still plan to read as much as possible, but the comfort and pleasure of having this community here is just taking over me. Thank you all for your replies!

chad Christopher wrote:Myself, and others are going to want to know...where are you?

- Espinho, Portugal. I asked a small community of young and loving people - called "Moinho" - to use the terrain for growing and sharing the results with them and they said yes. I'm there since October.
Thanks for the list of suggestions on what grows best in such conditions.

"First seed then mow". I'll surely remember that, since after seeding I had a need to shake the mowed weeds all over the terrain so the seeds would go under them. Extra work.

Before I realized there were all these replies here, I noticed that some rain was predicted for 2 days ahead so I mowed a ~30x6 meter lane and spread several kinds I had in big quantity and somehow had an idea that they are resilient and sprout easily: cowpea, black turtle beans, mung beans (all beans soaked from the day before), chickpeas, collard greens (couve galega), turnips, Cichorium (I bought big quantities (400g) in cereal/bird food stores), flax, trifolium (white kind, I think; from the bird food store also), pumpkins, lupin-bean. Maybe it was too much seed for the area. Never done this before so I can't tell. Maybe 1 kg of soaked beans and half a handful of each of the small varieties of seeds. It rained a bit for 2 days and now is sunny and getting warm \o/ yuhuuuu!
And that's the latest update. I'll share the results here is the post keeps open by that time.

Glad for this sharing experience.


 
Jeff Hodgins
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I wouldn't even play around trying to plant seeds into so let's not reasonably clean there has to be limited competition for nutrients and lightyou could reduce the weed cover by tilling then put deep compost on top in rows and dig the paths were you will walk on to the compost and fill the rows with fresh wood or manure ect.
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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It is hard to put too much seed, just expensive. Suggested seeding rates are to get a a viable stand of the crop without wasting too much. Important on a 180 hectors but not so much on 180 square meters.
 
Jeff Hodgins
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I have multiple seedbeds some I prepared well others are weedy the plants in the ones I did not weed thoroughly R thin yellow stunted s***
 
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