Tag: Crop Rotation

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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Crop Rotation in the Garden

One rotation I use is spring-sown oats interplanted later with transplanted squash. I flatten and then mulch over the oats in July. The following spring I transplant cabbage into the mulch. English photos By Will Bonsall We usually hear about crop rotation in the context of large farms where folks are talking about crops such as wheat, oats,

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Managing Cabbage Aphids

Cabbage aphids on kale growing in a tunnel. Photo by Eric Sideman Habitat plants flowering among brussels sprouts. Photo by Becky Sideman By Eric Sideman, Ph.D. Although it may seem so, the cabbage aphid is not a new pest. My favorite discussion of this pest is in a 1928 text called “Destructive and Useful Insects, Their Habits and

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Tillage Trials

By Ben Hoffman Minimal tillage is essential for healthy, productive soils. In a seven-year study at the University of Western Australia, total organic carbon in the top 4 inches of soil increased by 1.7 tons/acre with no-till and 1 ton under conservation tillage but decreased by 0.2 tons under rotary tillage. (“Tillage, microbial biomass and

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Rusted Rooster

The Rusted Rooster Farm family, left to right (with ages as of Oct. 2017): Sean, Chloe (3), Jackson (5), Sandra, Lacey (17 months) and Shannon (6). Photo by Lily Piel Mowing a cover crop of peas and oats for cattle feed with an 826 International. Photo by Sean O’Donnell Sean at work in his John

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Editorial Jean English

Please Send Us Your Garden Tips! Roberta Bailey is compiling the most interesting and useful garden tips that MOF&G readers send to her for publication in our fall issue. Do you have a unique way to grow pole beans? How do you thwart weeds organically? Please share your tips by emailing Roberta at [email protected] Thanks!

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Strawberries Revisited

Strawberry runners transplanted in August. Roberta Bailey photo A thick patch of strawberry plants at the end of the second summer, ready to be tilled under as weeds are encroaching. Roberta Bailey photo By Roberta Bailey We all want to grow strawberries. Who can resist the allure of a basket brimming with fat, red, juicy

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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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Buckwheat

Buckwheat growing at Khadigar Farm. Photo by Will Bonsall. By Will Bonsall Gardeners rarely include buckwheat among their garden crops, except occasionally as a green manure. That’s not a bad idea, although often not the best. For soil that already has a modicum of fertility, other green manures – oats, for example – return more

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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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