Directions

  1. In the spring, sow {A of your vegetable-garden with cover crop seed, spreading the seed lightly by hand and raking it in after planting. Dean recommends combining 2 or even all 3 kinds of cover crops in the same planting,
  2. Water the seeded plot well.
  3. When the seed has germinated and the cover crop plants are 10 to 12 inches tall, till the plants into the soil. You can also cut the plants to the ground and dig them in by hand, but be forewarned—digging in a

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To use Dean Berden's soil-building rota

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tion program, you need to know which

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vegetable crops are heavy feeders and

which are light feeders. Here's a rundown

of the most common crops by their

feeding habits:

Heavy Feeders

Light Feeders

Broccoli

Beans

Cabbage

Beets

1

Cauliflower

Carrots

V 1'

Cucumbers

Garlic

a

Eggplant

Onions

Lettuce

Peas

Melons

Potatoes

Peppers

Radishes

1

Pumpkins

Turnips

Spinach

Squash

Tomatoes

cover crop by hand tan be a tough job! You may wanr to rent or borrow a tiller instead.

  1. At the end of August or in September, re-seed the plot with more cover crops as before. Dean says that, for the second seeding, a combination of oats and red clover is best.
  2. Allow this crop to remain in place through the fall and winter. The crop will be killed by frost, but leave the dead plants in place to protect the soil from erosion during the winter.
  3. The following spring, till the cover crop under. Allow 2 or 3 weeks for the crop residues to break down, and the plot will be ready to plant. You may want to work the soil lightly again just before planting.
  4. Sow seeds or plant transplants of lightfeeding vegetable crops (see "How's That Veggie's Appetite?" on the facing page for a list of light-feeding and heavy-feeding crops).
  5. Tend and harvest the crops.
  6. The following spring, sow seeds or plant transplants of heavy-feeding vegetable crops.
  7. Tend and harvest the crops. The following spring, its time to start again with a year of soil-building cover crops.

Year 3

Light feeders Cover crops

Light feeders Cover crops

A 3-year crop rotation that alternates heavy feeding garden crops like tomatoes with cover crops and then lighter feeders like beans builds and maintains healthy soil, which means more homegrown food for dinner!

Essential Guide to Organic Gardening

Essential Guide to Organic Gardening

By gardening organically, the dependence on chemicals is removed. By eliminating chemicals used in regular gardening, your vegetables will be healthier because they will get the nutrients by natural means. Unlike traditional gardening; organic gardening will help to prevent potentially harmful toxins from entering your body. Lastly, it is much more environmentally friendly.

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