Meet the harsh challenges of dry, thin caliche-type soils. Native perennial grasses will slowly stabilize vegetative cover. By planting in early spring you take advantage of natural rainfall to sprout the seeds. These natives should reach maturity in three growing seasons. Bronze, red, and golden colored seed-heads during the fall are a breathtaking addition to your native landscape. Special consideration should be given to provide for erosion control, soil organic matter, and seed-to-soil contact.
Tatiana Trunilina wrote:If I plant any lush greenery, every critter in the neighborhood will zero in on our lot and not let the cover crops do their job.
Tatiana Trunilina wrote:So, we got about 4 acres of land which has a thin layer of topsoil and the rest is a rock hard caliche (clay mixed with chalk and a ton of rocks). I'd love to plant cover crops over the entire land to prepare it for my food forest. But we have a ton of critters who would thank me for such feast. We got: deer, jack rabbits (who are apparently a sign that your area has been severely overgrazed), opossums, armadillos, raccoons, cats, snakes, etc. Plus we get temps in the 100s every summer for about a month, not too much rain during the hottest periods, and some good amount of rain in the spring and fall. Our winter is green, it rarely snows. We built a garden with a 8 foot tall fence (about 2.33m) which is protected from the critters and from the sun via a shade cloth. But the rest of the lot is pretty much wide open space.
Most people who recommend planting cover crops live in an area with plenty of grass everywhere. We have barely any grass because of overgrazing for centuries. There are pitiful lumps of brown grass growing with soil showing through between them. If I plant any lush greenery, every critter in the neighborhood will zero in on our lot and not let the cover crops do their job. Plus I don't know if I'd have to water the cover crops when they first sprout, because we often get long periods without rain even in spring or fall. I even wonder how do people plant corn out in the open without fences? I'd love to plant some outside the garden but can't.
Any suggestions for me outside of fencing the entire property ($40k)?
Tatiana Trunilina wrote:Thanks so much y'all!
JD, I didn't find anyone willing to dump their wood chips on our property for free, we live quite a ways out in the sticks. But we are planning to cover a significant portion of our land with mulch that we will buy. But will cover crops grow in mulch?