[Market-farming] Mulch

Bill Shoemaker wshoemak at inil.com
Fri Dec 7 08:47:05 EST 2007

We've used the rye cover crop system for several years. If you plant the rye population densely enough we found very little need for weed control, even after 10 weeks. At that point the pupkin crop has smothered the planting. We haven't worked with other crops so I'm not sure how well it would work then. We don't use legumes, just grain rye. Out on the edges where the cover thinned out, we did find weed growth but that was a function of low population of rye.

  They almost certainly used herbicide.

  Rye/legume mulch is great, but it will only suppress weeds temporarily. The weeds will come up through it with huge enthusiasm several weeks later (fueled by the N from the legume). Be prepared to either use herbicide; do a great deal of weeding; or cultivate at that point, tilling in the cover crop in the process (I do the last of these, as well as some hand weeding).
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