By Katy McCoy
Each year, things get a little closer to perfection. Now you can naturally build up your bed’s soil nutrients and “biomass”, fight pests, sequester CO2 from the atmosphere, and support a local farmer all at the same time through one simple act – buying and planting Keith’s cover crop seed!
For the last 2 years, Keith Kisler of Finnriver has been growing multiple grains on the historic Brown family dairy across the street from us, including rye and a rye/vetch mixture for cover crop seed. We now offer this very special product for sale in the Corner’s bulk soil amendment area. (P.S. Do NOT miss the accompanying Keith/grain expose)!
Why Rye as a cover crop? Rye is a great choice for a number of reasons:
Rye can be planted alone (which is a good choice if you already have plenty of nitrogen in your soil from animals) or it can be mixed with vetch, a legume which will give your cover crop the added function of fixing nitrogen. The vetch is not as cold hardy as the rye, but the two grow well together, the rye helping protect the vetch from winter weather.
Instructions: Whether you choose rye or the rye/vetch mixture, you’ll want to plant now through the next several weeks (if planting the rye/vetch, sooner is better than later.) Rake the seed in good and soak it after spreading. Periodically water until the rains come and then you are done until spring. Once the days reach 14 hours in length, the rye will begin to grow vigorously. Allow it to flower and then mow, which will kill it (important that it’s flowering with pollen falling from the flower when shaken or it will grow back). Turn under unless you are using no-till methods and you are ready to plant your summer crops in your resulting super fertile weed-free, nutrient rich, loamy earth! Good luck!
Return to HOME PAGE
Read more about Keith Kisler and Grain
Don’t miss this season’s Harvest Wrap-up