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Cover crop new hugelkultur zone 5

 
Sue Books
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Building our first hugelkultur! What recommendations do you have for a cover crop this first year? We're in zone 5, Central Iowa, USA. I read that potatoes are good, but I'm wondering if it's too late for them. Clover? Thanks!
 
Dave Dahlsrud
Posts: 453
Location: North-Central Idaho
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books food preservation fungi hugelkultur trees
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I would use a mix of white clover along with any other annual herbaceous vegie seeds you have. I personally do a mix with spinach, radish, dill, sunflower, and white dutch clover. I use this mix because that is what I have available. Everything except the clover is harvested seed from my land. Just make sure to apply some mulch after you're done seeding the bed! I hear sun chokes are supposed to be pretty good in that initial set up phase as well.
 
Sue Books
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Thanks! Is the process to cut it down before plants to to seed? When should I turn it in to the soil?
 
Dave Dahlsrud
Posts: 453
Location: North-Central Idaho
23
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I let everything that wants to goto seed. That way you don't have to replant next year. Once everything is spent I just cut it off at soil level and tuck the spent plant under the mulch to compost in place. No need to turn it into the soil.
 
Alan Lamborn
Posts: 22
Location: Iowa (Zone 4-5)
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Sue,
You still have plenty of time to plant potatoes if you like. I'm just a little further north of you and the only crop of potatoes I planted in mid July 2014 did great by the time I dug them in October. Take note of the other good suggestions you are bound to get here, but don't cross off your potatoes yet!
AL
 
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