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Dryland Winter Cover Crop?

 
Jeff Hodgins
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I need a cover that I can sow in July . July 1-20 is usually when the last cultivation is done to corn in my area. At this intraval there are 3-5 months left in the wet season. I need to establish a cover during this window and have it survive into the dry season. I also need to be able to harvest the cover crop as feed for livestock. I grew a species of vicia known locally as "evo de invierno" last year but, an early frost killed it and made me look like an idiot. I am going to try it again but I'd rather try something that can take the frost and the drought. I have observed a wild species of flower that is winter active and enjoyed by livestock but it seems to grow more one year and less another. I still have no seed sample for this species due to my former ignorance.
This topic is of crutial importance to the Central Mexican Platue and many other areas of the world. What cover to grow and how to get the seeds to the masses. Yet the Gov'nt agricultural athority has done nothing to address the issue. I know it's not exactly permaculture that I'm talking about here but we have to start somewhere right?
 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I was just studying a listing of Chihuahuan desert plants:

http://museum2.utep.edu/chih/gardens/list/species.htm#A

I wonder if you might be able to find your cover crop among the native legumes?  I'm particularly looking at Purple Prairie Clover Dalea purpurea and White Prairie Clover Dalea candida.  These are both perennials, so I'm not sure they are suitable for your exact use
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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An excellent book about cover crops is available for free download here:

http://www.sare.org/publications/covercrops/covercrops.pdf
 
Jeff Hodgins
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A Mexican farmer told me today that "oats" or "barly" will handle frost but I don't think they would handle the drought. I know wheat is more drought tolorent but I'm not sure if it will take frost in it's later stage of growth.
I will be experimenting with the above crops, lupins and others. I'll be sure to let you all know how it goes.
 
Jeff Hodgins
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Here's an update. Napier grass can survive the dry frosty winter here in Puebla though it's not really a ground cover its tall.
Aloe vera
Jade
Opuntia
Vicia cracca (winter vetch)locust resistant
Napier locust resistant
Chayote
Dicon radish
Acanthus mollis
Cana Lilly
Native legume ground vines
All these plants can survive the harsh dry winters here in Puebla without irrigation.
 
charlotte anthony
pollinator
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thanks jeff for the harsh dry winter plants.

can you say what kind of temperatures harsh is. and what kind of precipitation dry is.

many thanks. am starting to grow in eastern oregon.

another plant i see they sell at green cover seeds and i plan to use is collards.

also i am planning on using dry land alfala, ladeck or sierra. sierra supposedly comes from mexico. can you find some seed down there?
 
charlotte anthony
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i am also looking at apios americana, american ground nuts, but am looking at it as people food.
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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