CYA: Cover Your Acreage

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We planted our first cover crops this year. I’ve been reading about them for ages but like the hugelkultur beds and so much of life, the page and the practice are different creatures.

I wish I could say we planted cover crops in the berry field, but when we’ve saved the farm, we’ll definitely be building the soil there a lot faster.

The cover crops went on the hugelkultur beds, and the “plain” outer ring bed in our kitchen garden. Birds had a bit of a field day but I’m hoping a good number of the seeds were able to take root.

The mixture we went with was hairy vetch, red clover, and oats (oats pictured above) which we ordered from Sow True Seeds, who I highly recommend.

Which brings me to the CYA/Cover Your Acreage point. Winter is coming. Your soil needs a covering of some sort to be happy, and I highly highly recommend that if you haven’t already put in a cover crop, you consider some kind of mulch on your garden/growing space to keep the topsoil in place and help keep the “wrong” kind of weeds down. (All weeds are serving a purpose, and if you’re working against nature, or don’t know how particular weeds might be helpful, a lot of those weeds are going to seem “wrong.”)

Now is a great time, if you’re not growing winter crops, to put down sheet mulch so it has time to break down and decompose for spring planting. Grab a copy of Gaias Garden by Toby Hemenway or pop over to the forums at Permies.com to learn more about sheet mulching and, well, all kinds of useful stuff to help you effectively cover (and enjoy) your acreage.

 

 

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