Cover crops!

I had been thinking of doing something over the winter to refresh our raised beds. Then, a friend offered me some leftover cover crop seed she had gotten from my favorite local seed supplier, Sow True Seed. A combination of rye and peas, it seemed the perfect thing to scatter and forget about for the winter months!

Specifically, the two types of seeds I planted were:

  • Winter Rye: According to the seed supplier, this is “Excellent for fall planting, even when it’s too late to plant other cover crops. Builds bio mass quickly, suppresses weeds and provide support for legumes.”
  • Austrian Winter Pea: This crop provides “High bio mass production and nitrogen fixation with good weed suppression.”

It was recommended to use bean and pea inoculant to help the peas germinate. I headed across the street from Sow True Seed to Fifth Season garden supply to pick up a packet of the fine, dark sandy stuff. According to their website, “Inoculant is a rhizobium bacteria that makes the stems of legumes develop nitrogen fixing nodules. These nodules allow the plant to pull nitrogen out of the air and enrich the soil with it.”

Our niece and nephew helped me plant the seeds, and spread the inoculant, on September 28. Over the next few weeks, the crops sprouted beautifully! They are planted together where I don’t have fall crops growing.

First pea sprouts - NC Garden Gals

The first pea sprouts coming up

Winter rye sprouts - NC Garden Gals

Winter rye sprouts poke their heads above the soil

Cover crops - NC Garden gals

Rye and peas, well on their way!

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