9 votes

How should I 'close out' a garden bed before moving?

Since you say that these beds are small, one option would be just to plant vegetables, as if you were going to be continuing to garden - particularly lettuce, spinach and maybe beets. You could also ...
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8 votes

Gardening calendar for vegetable beds

Your idea of green manure in winter is a good one, beans help put some nitrogen back into the soil. Otherwise the most simple rule for rotation is to leave it a while between plantings of things in ...
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6 votes
Accepted

Ground cover - maximizing value

Fava beans are a favored fall cover crop because they enrich the soil, protect against nutrient loss, feed the rhizobacteria, and produce a high protein food. It's usually sewed straight after your ...
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  • 22.9k
5 votes
Accepted

What is my normal selection for a 4 season food cover crop?

Answering for your location (Minnesota, zone 4a), so as to keep this answer contained. In your climate, you'll get the most biomass from a summer season cover crop. Of course that will make it hard to ...
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  • 51.5k
5 votes

Does it make sense to plant a cover crop in raised beds?

I've done it. Basically, the hardest part is turning it under in such limited space, I used a spade. In a raised bed, there are easier ways to improve the soil, like turning in finished compost. Also,...
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4 votes

Does it make sense to plant a cover crop in raised beds?

A couple of alternate options: plant a cover crop that winterkills (assuming you have adequate time to get it grown a bit before winterkill - you might actually provide the bed with a cover to try and ...
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4 votes
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What is the quickest germinating leguminous cover crop?

In the summer, soybeans are usually my first choice, as they sprout and grow fast, and add about 30-50 lbs of nitrogen per acre. Red clover grows a little slower, but holds the soil together and adds ...
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3 votes
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When doing no till gardening, is it a bad idea to leave grass to act as a cover crop?

That should be just fine in the off season (when you aren't growing anything), so long as you're aware of the grass' growth stages. You might not want wild grasses going to seed in your beds, or they ...
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3 votes

Gardening calendar for vegetable beds

As you say, planting calendars are highly localised as even in a smallish area there may exist microclimates. What you are looking for in San Francisco can be found here http://smsf-mastergardeners....
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3 votes

Ground cover - maximizing value

Firstly, you should dig the bed over to break up the beans' nodules and release nutrients evenly throughout the bed. You don't even have to bury the top growth: you can lay it on the bed as a mulch. ...
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  • 1,023
3 votes

How should I 'close out' a garden bed before moving?

It's tricky precisely because you don't know when (or if) it will be used again. If expecting use in a month, a deep mulch would be easiest to just start using. But of course that will start getting ...
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  • 18.2k
2 votes

Should I mulch after turning in a cover crop? In a raised bed

"However, I feel like the direct sunlight would lead the to cover crops decomposing more quickly because of photodegradation? Am I totally wrong about that?"- fnwovnwownf Well no, you aren't totally ...
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  • 1,640
1 vote

Can mint kill off hopes of grass establishing in an area?

Based on the title of the question, it sounds like you want this cover crop to successfully compete with grass. Given that, I would recommend something like a white clover. It is very dense, can ...
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1 vote

Need perennial cover crop/grass suggestion

I would suggest a mixture of grass: Tall wheatgrass Western wheatgrass Green wheatgrass (variety AC Saltlander) Slender wheatgrass Mix them equally and you should see good results after about a year ...
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  • 1,640
1 vote

Crop rotation: by season instead of by year?

You can certainly grow several crops in succession in one year, exactly the same as gardening out of doors (assuming your climate is suitable, of course). But many diseases that are specific to ...
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1 vote

Crop rotation: by season instead of by year?

The thing with tomatoes is not so much rotation for nutrients, but rotation to avoid disease. A complete cycle of the seasons is better for defending against disease than just one season. If you ...
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1 vote
Accepted

I've read that composting can reach up to 140 degrees - does this affect my plants?

If you are talking about making heat from compost decomposing between your beds whether you are in a green house or out of doors you won't be able to use that heat nor should you. The heat will not '...
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  • 39.8k
1 vote

What do I do with cover crops before planting vegetables in a raised bed?

To use this as a green mulch which adds nitrogen to the soil, wait until they're about to flower, and then mow them down and let dry. Then dig into the soil. That ensures that all the nitrogen that ...
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1 vote
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When does red clover (cover crop) go to seed?

It's likely to go dormant over winter, but not die all the way. Around here (southeastern Pennsylvania), it goes back to 4-6 inches over winter. Red clover is extremely variable as to when it goes to ...
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