Thursday, May 17, 2012

green and black

If you were by the farm/school at all today, you probably saw us. 
Jared + I spent the better part of the day in the "marsh" garden getting ready to plant potatoes. 
Last season, this space was in fallow, to give it a rest for the season. It was cover-cropped in two different crops as part of a research initiative by a farmer, Dorn Cox, from the Seacoast.
On the right, I seeded a winter-kill cover crop called tillage radish. It was FANTASTIC! Not only did is come up well and do the job of "tilling" or aerating the soil, but it also acted as an herbicide. This particular crop gives off a chemical that inhibits weed seed from germinating. Of course, there were still some weeds. But not too many. Plus, since it winter-kills, that means not tilling it in is part of the whole plan!
On the left is vetch... a VERY thick crop that provides nitrogen fixing and a ton of organic matter. Part of the deal with the cover crop trial is that I have to let this go to flower. Then, I will cut some sample masses and weight them. I still haven't entirely decided how I am going to get rid of this (without tilling it, of course)... but I have some ideas!

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