I’m trying out a new cover crop blend this year in my Tomato & Potato Beds. It’s a blend made by Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply that contains:
- Bell Beans
- BioMaster Winter Peas
- Purple Vetch
- Lana Vetch
- Common Vetch
- Cayuse Oats
Even though I’m a little late in planting it, I think it will grow enough to do its thing…I laid down the seed, just distributing it by hand, on 2/5/12. I covered that with a mix of compost & clay soil, then about an inch of straw. By 2/15 it was already germinated, and by 3/4 it was growing well through the straw.
My plan is to use a line trimmer to whack it down, then rake it all up, along with the straw, then put it through the shredder. I will then redeposit it over the bed, to be worked in with the roto-tiller, then turn it with a pitchfork. This avoids the shear-plate problem that is one of the talking points of no-tillers. My other option would be to pull them out, roots & all, then try to shake off as much dirt as possible, then shred it. I will probably try a little of both. This will have to be done at least 2 weeks before I plant the tomatoes or potatoes. That means I only have 2-4 weeks more to let it grow.
Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply’s Organic Soil Builder Mix can be purchased here.