[Market-farming] Réf : Re: undersowing sweet corn

Lova Andriamanjay lova.andriamanjay at gmail.com
Thu Jun 23 08:32:39 EDT 2011


Thank you Pam for your reply. I will definitely try soybeans!

Lova



Le 19 juin 2011 15:26, Pam Twin Oaks <pam at twinoaks.org> a écrit : 

I've been bogged down in the jungles of Virginia, as Ann Mooney called it!

Days and days ago, Lova Andriamanjay said:
"this year we are growing quit a bit more sweet corn and would really

like to grow some cover crops between the rows. It has been cultivaded

with a flex tine weeder two or three times depending of the sowing

date and I plan to inject some dairy manure between the rows soon and

then cultivate once and finally hill it. All this should be done by

the beginning of July when the rows should be closing up. I would like

to sow something when I will be hilling them. The cover crop would

grow in the shade until august when the sweet corn is harvested and

then chopped. It would then have 2-3 months of growth before winter

shut things up.



I am pretty sure some of you have tried this so I would like to hear

what you have done. I would really like a legume/legume based mix for

the nitrogen. I was thinking of trying: hairy vetch and rye, annual

ryegrass, crimson clover and sweet clover. Are these choices sound?

Would the sweet clover be able to grow back come spring?"

Our approach is: We undersow sweet corn with soy beans at about 30 days after sowing the corn. That's our second and last cultivation. We don't hill. We have a good source of cheap soybeans as we also make and sell tofu. Soy is somewhat tolerant of both shade (from the corn) and foot traffic (the harvesting crew), so that works well. 


We tried crimson clover in the past but it didn't grow. In summer we can't provide the continuous overhead irrigation needed to get the clover germinated. Here, winter rye sown in August would head up before the fall and be a nuisance, so we don't do that. Ryegrass becomes a weed here, so we don't do that either. 


For our last sweet corn planting, which is ready to be undersown in August, we use oats and soy, then just bush hog the sweet corn (high) when it's finished, and let the cover crops grow and be winter-killed. This is zone 7a approx. I forgot to note where you are located.


I don't know if hairy vetch would be a good idea. If it seeds it can become a problem, as some of the seed is "hard" (doesn't germinate in the first year, but surprises you in later years!) Sweet clover I've never tried. I believe the white and the yellow are quite different from each other.


Pam Dawling, Twin Oaks Community, Louisa, Jungles of VA




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