Category: Cover Crops

Using Green Manures

by Eric Sideman, PhDMOFGA’s Organic Crop Specialist Emeritus Introduction There is no such thing as the “best green manure”. A grower has to decide what is the most important benefit to their farm system of growing green manures and what is the window of opportunity that they have to take cropland out of production. This

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Cover Crops Are More Species Better

A pasture seeded in a “crazy mix” consisting of over eight species of cover crops. Planted in the early summer, the tillage radish bolted and set seed instead of growing a large taproot – different species may perform better at different times of the year. Photo courtesy of Caleb Goossen Peas and oats can be

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Green Manures and Cover Crops

A strip of buckwheat growing at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center. English photo. By Will Bonsall The terms “green manure,” “cover crop,” “soiling crop” and “catch crop” are often used interchangeably, which is not quite accurate, but for this article I’m lumping them all together. I refer to any crop that is planted not for

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Green Manures

The author mows down a crop of Japanese millet. Becky Sideman photo. By Eric Sideman, Ph.D. People often ask me, “What is the best green manure?” That sets me off on one of my favorite lectures. “There is no best green manure,” I begin, and go on to explain that green manures (cover crops) have

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Cover Crops

By Lee Stivers, Frances Tucker and Claudia Olivier Integrating cover crops into vegetable production systems is a good idea. Cover crops add organic matter to our often carbon-starved vegetable soils, improve tilth in soils damaged by frequent tillage or heavy machinery; recycle plant nutrients; and in some cases suppress weeds and other pests. Vegetable growers

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New Studies

By Eric Sideman, Ph.D. In the fall I attended the 100th anniversary, annual meeting of the American Society for Horticultural Sciences in Providence, Rhode Island. The ASHS has a good mix of members representing university researchers, Extension educators and industry who study all aspects of crop production. The reports covered very basic plant science to

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Green Manures

Planting about a quarter of your garden to cover crops each year can add fertility, reduce erosion, help break pest cycles, and much more. English photo. by Eric Sideman, Ph.D. The Heart of Organic Growing Those who buy organic food often describe organic farming and gardening in the negative: as growing crops without using synthetic

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Creative Cover Cropping Ideas

By Alice Percy MOFGA’s 2006 Spring Growth Conference, titled “Cover Crop and Rotation Strategies for Organic Fertility and Weed Management,” attracted presenters from all over the Northeast and over 100 audience members. Presenters included Eric and Anne Nordell, who operate a horse-powered, mixed vegetable farm in Beech Grove, Penn., and contribute regularly to the Small

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