• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Cover crop after pigs

 
Pier luc Bolduc
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Soo Hi!

First of all I dont know if im in the right section for that but here we go.

We bougth our little plot of land a year ago and are moving in 20 days. I would like for someone to weight in on my first project. I want to till the aera that I plan to make my garden in next year. I bought my very first pigs and they are coming in on the july 1 and i though they would do the work for me.

Id like to follow up with a good cover crops that could help my soil for next year. Its clearly a clay soil and I didnt get it analise yet.

I figure after pigs I will suffer a bit of a compaction.

Which cover crop would help give
Nitrogen Fixing
Biomass
Compaction

Our last frost is oct 16 im in 5b

 
Hans Quistorff
pollinator
Posts: 569
Location: Longbranch, WA
27
chicken goat rabbit solar tiny house wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Welcome Pier:
This is an interesting question but to give you a good answer Some more information would be helpful. You stated the last frost was Oct. does that mean you are in the southern hemisphere?
To make things clear for every post Go to the menu at the top of the page and select my profile. There you can fill in your location and some other details that will appear under your name with each post, Also you can set a signature line which will appear at the bottom of each post were you can add even more details.

I have a section of my land that has clay soil that I am experimenting with because it is ideal from the standpoint of being sub irrigated; That is the sand area above slope drains into it and keeps it moist all summer wen it seldom rains. https://www.youtube.com/user/eOrganic has several videos that suggest cover cropes for penetrating compacted soil. one of the ingredients was the large radishes. An extension agent ran an experiment on a neighboring farm with foraging radishes. During the farm tour they let the animals in. The cows ate the tops, the sheep ate down below the soil line and of course the pigs rooted them out and ate the whole thing.

It may be best to have a moveable pen and have them clear it quickly then plant that area while they clear the next. there would probably be less compaction that way and they would not just clear their favorite things and leave the less desirable probably more problematic things behind. If your cover crop is more nutritious for the pigs then the second pass would help fatten them up for slaughter.

Dig a test hole and see how much soil there is above the subsoil. I have found a broadfork helpful in breaking the compaction to get roots deeper quicker. Right now I am using a chicken tractor and if I break the soil then the chickens are able to scratch the soil from the edges where they were not able to scratch into the clay surface.
 
Pier luc Bolduc
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ok i may need to clarify myself

First of all last frost was a typo i meant first frost.
We are in Canada near Montreal
I wanted to have the pigs work the aera but they will never come back after i have a dedicated aera for them that i want to do paddocks for rotation.

I though of using:
Buckwheat
Cowpeas
Daikon radishes and mustard

The thing is i dont know if they are all compatible in one cover crop
Also Gabe Brown said we need to think in term of 6 or 7 species for the cover crop which is more than i can handle (design wise)

The aera is an estimated 10 to 15 thousand square feet

Will be sown by hand and can we raked after if needed
If there is lack of info dont hesitate

I will also received my first batch of 50 chickens divided in 2 tractors around end of july but i have other plan for them
They will tractor the aera i want to plant my windbreak in the fall

 
Eric Thompson
Posts: 369
Location: Bothell, WA - USA
10
duck food preservation solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Pier luc Bolduc wrote:

I though of using:
Buckwheat
Cowpeas
Daikon radishes and mustard

The thing is i dont know if they are all compatible in one cover crop
Also Gabe Brown said we need to think in term of 6 or 7 species for the cover crop which is more than i can handle (design wise)



All of those will work nicely -- you don't need the perfect mix - the plants will decide which ones are happiest and dominant!
Other things I might use for this: turnip, mangels, kale, fava beans, annual rye grass, clover/trefoil -- and most anything you have seeds for that quickly makes a good root..

 
Pier luc Bolduc
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you very much this is excatly what i wanted to hear

Ill find a seed supplier in bulk near me and im good to go
 
Marco Banks
Pie
Posts: 350
Location: Los Angeles, CA
25
books chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you can add additional mulch or biomass as well, it will greatly help with compaction. It's tough to mulch at the same time as planting a cover crop, but where you can, pile it on. Mulch brings in the worms and they do the hard work of tilling the soil and loosening it.

Maybe after your first frost kills your cover crop, you could lay a thick layer of spoiled hay or wood chips over your area for the winter. It will keep the worms warmer longer, and will also keep the soil from freezing so deeply. The normal freeze/thaw cycle will help decompact the soil as well.

Good luck.
 
Pier luc Bolduc
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you i figured i would need biomass (carbon) to balance the added nitrogen from the pigs.

I though of mulching it before first snow with fallen leaves (ive got massive maple trees (60 feet high and above) and should use them and ask the neighbours for theirs i should be anle to get at least 6 inch of milch everywhere
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic