Our garden season will end soon in the Willamette Valley. Once the last of the produce is harvested, some gardeners may not know what to do with their empty garden plot. Planting a garden cover crop is the ideal answer. A cover crop will:
- Provide competition to ay developing weeds and inhibits their growth;
- Reduce nutrient loss due to leaching caused by winter rain;
- Returns nitrogen and other nutrients to the soil when legumes such as, clover or vetch, are part of the cover crop that is planted;
- Develops a large amount of organic matter from the roots and leaves of the cover crop when tilled under in spring. This improves soil tilth.
Burns Feed Store carries and recommends “Gardenway Cover Crop” seed blend for fall planting of your garden plot. It is available in 5, 25, and 50lb. bags. It is applied at 4lbs. / 1000 sq. ft. of garden area. Cover crops can be planted throughout the fall season. Other individual seed varieties are available in bulk, if you prefer a particular seed type for use as a cover crop. Some of these varieties are: Crimson clover, fall rye grain, poco barely, common vetch, hairy vetch, fava bean, austrian winter peas and several others. We can help you determine the pounds of seed you will likely need if you choose to use one of these varieties. Give us the approximate square feet of the area to cover, and we can give you the amount you will need to plant.
Try a cover crop on your garden plot this fall. Your garden will be healthier, have fewer weeds, and be much more productive next year!