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Q: Crowding Out a Weed Problem with Cover Crops
Jan 28, 2010 - Amber
A PVFS Customer Question with staff answer.
We inherited a pasture with a terrible weed problem. I’m new to farming and would like to some how “magically” transform it into a wildflower meadow with some food for our hens. From my reading i understand that the best way to do this is to till it a few times and then plant several generations of cover crops that will die back as the new one is seeded in order to smother the weeds and make room for our meadow. Can you recommend some varieties or mixes that we can grow to make this happen? My first concern is crowding out the weeds, next is that we would love it if our chickens can eat it. We can irrigate if necessary although it’s 2/3 acre so that’s not too desirable. We live near Portland OR and we would like to get started before our weeds have another year to take over. As a bonus question, I’d love some suggestions for meadow mixes that would help feed the hens as well. Thank you for any advice you may have!
When you are ready to plant (right after your final weeding) spread some compost and your seeds of choice. Water and you should have a great pasture.
As far as suggestions for what to plant, the Grasses and Wild Flower Mix (SCG055) would be good, or the Sheep Fescue (SCG295) mixed with an annual or perennial clover (chickens LOVE clover!) and the Pacific NW Wildflower mix (SWF810), Mediterranean Dryland Mix (SWF910), Hummingbird Mix (SWF670), or any of the other mixes that catch you eye. The Omega-3 Chicken Forage Blend is a great chicken pasture mix, but it does need summer irrigation.
Hope this helps, and thanks for growing organically!