[Market-farming] When to plow under cowpeas as a cover crop

Brian Luton bcluton at aol.com
Sun Jun 8 18:35:08 EDT 2014

I've never grown cowpeas but generally speaking a legume fixes nitrogen right on through flowering and into pod development.  It then starts drawing nitrogen to produce protein and fat in developing and maturing seed. So if you're optimizing nitrogen I'd probably mow it or plow it at flowering or shortly thereafter. 

Sent from my iPhone

On Jun 8, 2014, at 6:09 PM, <garlicgrower at green-logic.com> wrote:

> Hi, Folks!
> I’m doing cowpeas as cover crop before garlic because the soil needs the nitrogen and the extension agent said the cowpeas would be more drought-resistant than soybeans.
> I’m not seeing a lot written about cowpeas as a cover crop.  When should I plow them under to keep them from re-seeding in my garlic?  At flowering?  When the cowpeas are in the pod, but green?  Or can I just let the cowpeas mature because the winter will kill the seed anyway?
> Thanks for the input.  My location is below, if that helps.
> Dorene Pasekoff
> Hill Creek Farm
> Pottstown, PA 19465
> USDA Zone 6
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