The SWCD Eagle Creek Demonstration Garden is an educational space for no-till gardening and soil health practices such as crop rotation, 覆盖作物, 覆盖, 堆肥, 和营养管理. The garden is organized into 30″ wide by 25′ long growing beds, 每张床之间都有狭窄的走道. This blog will illustrate the recent history of three of these beds and show how different cover cropping strategies were used to prepare them for vegetable plantings.
An important factor to consider when determining which cover crop to plant is its compatibility with the following crop. 在规划和种植秋季覆盖作物时, think about what the cover crop is going to look like the following spring and how to manage or terminate it before planting vegetables.
上面的照片拍摄于2021年4月初. All of these 覆盖作物 were planted the previous year but look much different in spring due to having different species in the mixes.
Bed A1 was planted to a “winterkilled” cover crop mix that dies in the winter and leaves a mulch that is easy to manage for an early spring crop like lettuce or peas. Some good fall planted winterkilled options include oats, field peas, and daikon radishes. Summer options include species like sorghum sudangrass and sunn hemp.
Bed A3 was planted to a legume cover crop mix of hairy vetch and 深红色的三叶草. These legumes survived the winter and produce nitrogen for the following crop. 这种混合物在4月初被切碎并投放. Because the legumes were not quite flowering yet and therefore susceptible to regrowth, a layer of newspaper and 稻草 was added to ensure termination and weed suppression. 然后把苗床移植到甘蓝和花椰菜上.
A4床种植高生物量的谷类黑麦组合, 年度黑麦草, 深红色的三叶草, 和毛叶苕子. These all survived the winter and were pressed to the ground by foot in mid April and tarped to ensure termination. The tarp was removed 3 to 4 weeks later and the bed was transplanted to tomatoes and peppers. The same tactic is used before direct seedings of bush beans and squash.
See the following tables for a cover crop seeding window calendar and for information about the survival expectancy of 覆盖作物 in an Indiana winter.
– Good grass/legume cover crop mix, planted after onion and garlic harvest
– The heavy mulch from this cover crop protected the bed all winter
-莴苣曾经长得不错, 更好地覆盖土壤，防止霜冻, 加了一层稻草
– Experimented with direct seeding head lettuce into heavy mulch with little success. In general, larger seeds are better suited for planting into thicker residue. Best management practice may be to rake off mulch before direct seeding a small seeded crop
– If transplanting lettuce or spring greens, leave the mulch on the bed and transplant into it
Raked off cover crop residue and created planting furrows with a 尖锄, 3/21
2021: Kale and Broccoli (Cover crop chopped and drop on 4/6, 用1层报纸和稻草覆盖, 4月16日播种)
– Seed was broadcasted into light mulch on 9/4 under producing tomato plants
– Good growth of the hairy vetch and 深红色的三叶草 legumes
– Poorer cover crop growth in areas directly near tomato plant main stem
– Reseeded and added 稻草 mulch to any bare soil after tomato plants were removed.
– Legumes provide nitrogen for upcoming brassica crop, a heavy feeder
– Legumes then chopped and dropped on bed in early April
– Added 1 layer of newspaper and 稻草 on top of cover crop residue
– If chopping and dropping, legumes are more easily killed when they are flowering. 这一组合在切割时还没有开花, but potential regrowth was suppressed by the paper and 稻草.
-是否担心再生或杂草, leave the bed completely mulched for a period of time to block sunlight and terminate vegetation before making transplant holes.
Interseeded燕麦, 深红色的三叶草, 还有9/4成熟番茄下的毛豌豆, 10月16日收获后拍摄
Chopped and dropped hairy vetch and 深红色的三叶草 then covered with layer of newspaper and 稻草, 4/6
Kale transplanted into soil and protected by mulch on 4/16
2020: Cereal Rye / Annual Ryegrass / Crimson Clover / Hairy Vetch (Planted 10/5)
2021: Tomatoes (Cover crop crimped by foot and tarped on 4/16. 5月13日移除防水布. 5月15日种植西红柿)
– Cereal rye can be planted later in season than most 覆盖作物
-尽管存在其他选择, a cover crop mix with cereal rye is most easily terminated with by temporarily tarping.
– Mixes are crimped or cut and then temporarily tarped to block light and terminate vegetation, 经验之谈是3到4周
-因为防水布可以有效地杀死覆盖作物, 一个更多样化的组合可以用/例如, crimping or breaking the stems alone does not effectively terminate 年度黑麦草 whereas a tarp will
– Remove tarp, let the bed air out for a short period, and then transplant tomatoes into mulch
-确保持久的杂草抑制, 删除后问题资产救助计划, 用报纸和稻草等材料覆盖.
Cereal rye crimped and tarped on 4/16/2021, photo taken 4/24
The SWCD Eagle Creek Demonstration Garden is located on the Eagle Creek Trail at West 56th Street and Reed Road. 联系 the SWCD to set up a tour or for technical assistance.