Friday, November 22, 2019

Garden Friday-Using Cover Crops


These two new raised beds were created earlier this month.
Having a little more space to add crops come springtime
will be so exciting!
For now, these dormant beds will be sown with cover crops,
to ensure they start off right. 
Last year was the first winter
I'd ever sown cover crops.

Where these raised beds now stand
used to be several raised rows,
another first-time venture.
Although I did have some success with the raised rows,
I think that having beds higher up 
will make it easier to tend as I get older. 
Last year, I sowed the cover crops  in them around the same time,
but our conditions were very different.
This year, we've already had a couple of freezes,
so I'm not sure if it will affect the germination and growth
of the cover crops.

Two different cover crops were obtained from Sow True Seed in Asheville.
They are one of my go-tos for quality seed
and great customer service.

 This winter mix contains several crops,
including winter rye, crimson clover and hairy vetch.
Also known as "green manure",
cover crops can nurture the soil in a variety of ways.
Fostering beneficial insects below the soil while
preventing erosion and boosting the nutrient content
once it is turned into the soil in the spring,
are a few of the blessings that cover crops bring.
They also keep weeds at bay,
thereby making the soil primed for planting in spring.

This is white clover that I'm hoping to use
to create a meadow on the side of the house.
Attracting pollinators to the vegetable garden
has been something I've been working on for a year or so.
It started with creating a pollinator bed in the front yard
the first year we lived here.
Then, last year, we repurposed an old sandbox frame,
to fashion a pollinator bed smack-dab in the front corner
of the veggie garden.


The meadow area I will be looking to establish,
is just behind the vegetable beds,
in an area that slopes toward our leaf mulch pile
and open-air composting system.
This expansive area would be a wonderful place
to experiment with native wildflowers.
The white clover will be introduced during this first phase.
The bonus is that it would cut down on our mowing zone
and save us quite a bit of labor.
It sounds like a win-win to me!


  1. Excited to see your meadow grow! So many good reasons to grow wild flowers. Less mowing is a good thing.

    1. Me too! I'd love to retire the mower, but Big K likes his grass. ;0D

  2. We keep trying cover crops, but then we forget to turn them under. LOL

  3. Hooray to more raised beds (and not as much bending...). :) I can't wait to see your meadow area develop. It looks like a perfect spot!


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