green manure

Discussion in 'Small Space Gardening' started by nyima, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. nyima

    nyima Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Local Time:
    8:57 PM
    Hi folks, I am seeking advice about cover crops.I have a small plot in a community garden and have been doing some reading and have decided to try fall rye.I plan on planting next week,letting it grow over the winter and turn it in around March let the ground rest and start planting early crops like peas in April.Does this sound alright? Do I need to worry about the rye becomming a nuisance next year?
    Nyima
     
  2. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years of Activity

    Messages:
    630
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Denman Island,BC
    Local Time:
    8:57 PM
    Fall rye is probably the most common green manure crop in our area. It can behave as a perennial in our climate, but not usually if it isn't ignored, or unless you want it to.

    If you can, turn it 2 -3 weeks before you intend to plant, then dig it again just prior to planting. I find it much easier to dig and incorporate if it's mowed before the first dig, prefferably with a mulching mower, but any mower will do.

    Ralph
     
  3. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years of Activity

    Messages:
    680
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Surrey,BC,Canada
    Local Time:
    8:57 PM
    Like Ralph, I always run a lawnmower over the cover crop before tilling. My rototiller gets tangled in the long stems otherwise.

    You will find the rye pretty slow to break down come spring,thanks to the cold soil temps. For planting those early lettuce and carrots, I find it gets in the way. I try to leave a few spots without so those small seeded items can go in without any problems in March/April. Larger seeds like peas are okay with it even quite soon after tilling the rye in.

    Personally I just buy spring wheat from Famous Foods, it's around 50cents a pound and makes a nice solid "lawn" if sown in the next few weeks. It tends to die over the winter better than rye, an advantage in my opinion. Oats is even better for the soil according to one agronomist I learned from, tho it's pretty hardy here and won't winterkill most times.

    I find the prices charged for the fall rye seem awful high and my veggie garden is big, so I want to get by with just a few dollars worth of seed if possible! However, for real late planting, like getting into Oct., only the rye will make much growth so as to be worth sowing at that time.

    Glen
     

Share This Page