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Q: Cover Crop Tilling and Seed

Oct 28, 2009 -

This was posted as a comment on Cover Crop Solutions.  It has been moved here for the sake of visibility.

Hey I just bought some crop. I heard raking it in was a good idea. I did this, but it was soooo time consuming. I got out my tiller and set it to a very very shallow setting, and quickly moved it through. I have planted rye and clover, the seeds are pretty small. There’s only about a quarter inch of soil on the seeds, some being closer to the top than others. Is this a problem?



Janice @ Peaceful Valley Says:
Oct 28th, 2009 at 12:47 pm

That sounds like a very efficient way to plant the cover crop.  The seeds are somewhat varied in size and this would probably happen regardless.  It shouldn’t be a problem as long as the seed is covered and has soil contact.  Great job!

John Says:
Oct 29th, 2009 at 10:21 am

When do you turn over the cover crop in the spring?  I have small raised beds-what is the best way to turn over the crop?

Janice @ Peaceful Valley Says:
Oct 31st, 2009 at 11:44 am

When approximately 1/2 of the cover crop is blooming before any of it goes to seed is when you want to turn it over.  If you have vetch in the mix you may want to chop it up a bit first because it could wrap around tines on a tiller.  You can double dig or use a small cultivator to turn the cover crop over.

Curt Says:
Nov 2nd, 2009 at 8:16 am

When is the best time to sow a cover crop in southern Ohio along the Ohio River? 
Thanks Curt

Amber @ Peaceful Valley Says:
Nov 6th, 2009 at 10:59 am

Curt without knowing your zip code my guess for your USDA zone is a 6.  If that’s true you should probably plant a fall cover crop in September (keep in mind that it may be necessary for you to protect your cover crop from frost).  Check with your local Master Gardeners for zone information as well as more specific information about when to plant.  This website should help you contact the Master Gardeners in your area: http://mastergardener.osu.edu/

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