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#116778 Aug 23rd, 2007 at 08:29 AM
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KAT2007 Offline OP
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Hi, Everyone!

Call me Kat. I'm in zone 5. Just beginning. Want to plant clover cover crop for spring organic veggie garden. Area is 36' x 3' around the perimeter of backyard (sun 8-10hrs/day). How much seed do I need and how do I plant--one seed or several--and how far down and apart? Yes, I am definitely brain dead here. Thanks a bunch (I wanna plant radishes,too! lol kat

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I used winter rye for a green maure cover crop once. You have a tiller to till it in in the spring, right?
Clover, hmm. let me go google............


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I see there are a load of different types of clover that are used for cover crop. it seems the average is about 1 pound for 1000 square feet. So since your area is 1/10 of that, only about 1/10 pound. That doesnt sound like much but clover seeds are tiny. I would then mix them well with sand to toss them around the area or you'll get clumps in some spots and none in other spots.


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thanks a ton, wrennie....sent you a personal. i'll check that now...been doing laundry (ugh)....BRB...
kat

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There is also winter rye, wheatgrass, i forget what else. You can get a small amount and scatter it on there. then you can always get more and add it if it seems sparse.

Once youre all dug up and want to keep weeds down on the perimeter of your garden put down a thick layer of newspaper. Not the shiny or colored pages. Just the plain old black & white pages. this will kill the weeds and slowly break down into and feed the soil. You can put some sort of mulch on top. Pine bark nuggest, hay, cedar mulch, whatever you like.


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KAT2007 Offline OP
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Wrennie...Thanks. Now, what do I do with all the stupid evil black plastic bags! (don't have to answer that)
Will use the newspaper. Sure I can't poke holds in the plastic? What's the difference with the fabric? Walmart is selling it for $15.97 for 3'x10' piece. Isn't that a bit costly? kat

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are you sure it isnt 3' x 100'? for 3x10 thats a lot, for 3 x 100 its about average.

The fabric let light, air & nutrients through it into the soil, and lets excess moisture and whatever else comes out of the ground ( why ) out.

Originally Posted by KAT2007
Thanks. Now, what do I do with all the stupid evil black plastic bags!
lol well....... now that you ask, there is a method for growing potatoes in them! grin


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Legumes are really good for adding nitrogen to the soil (like alfalfa or any vetch), rye's are good for pulling up deep down nutrients and for breaking up clay.

I planted some winter rye and hairy vetch last fall and then tilled it all under in March. It really adds some "umph" to the soil. Mine is mostly sand, so it needs all the help it can get. I just had my then 5 yr old toss seeds all over the place. The rye was up in 3 days.

If going organic, I would check out Seeds of Change . Their seeds are organic and they sell by the pound.

Last edited by LandOfOz; Aug 23rd, 2007 at 02:01 PM.

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And if you don't have a tiller and want to grow a winter cover crop what do you do? I shouldn't high jack this topic. But it's so close to something I have been considering. I was told a while back that I should do a winter legume. Although it sounds like the rye would also be a good choice. Any info would be appreciated. I have about 70 square feet of garden space.


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I used winter rye, or was is wheatgrass??? anyway, in a 128 sq ft garden, no tiller, I had to dig turn and chop the whole thing by hand, with a shovel. It is do-able, just very labor intensive.


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Wrennie, I can't seem to find a seed company that has clover in anything but 1/2 lb lots. You pointed out 1/10th of a lb is what I need for the 110' space; so, that's a little over an ounce and a half (i think). My friend who owns the house has Cook's, Parks, and some other company. The seed packs are 2.35 and up. Is that a good price? Also, do I use one seed or sprinkle and cover? (Talk about stupid me!). Answer when u can. Tell Cindy I said "Hi." kat

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Sometimes you can buy clover seed at hardware stores, they sell it by the ounce or pound.


~~Tam~~Those who think country life is simple....have never lived on a farm.
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The clover sold in hardware stores is white clover. You could look for that.

Do you have a garden center anywhere near you? I'd look there or in a hardware store before ordering in a catalog, shipping ~that extra expense.

I love pine tree garden seeds. They cater to us small home gardeners. They have a 3 oz packet of clover for 1.95 scroll to the bottom of
this link


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KAT2007 Offline OP
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DOES EVERYONE KNOW THAT WRENNIE IS A REAL SWEETHEART? and TAMARA, TOO! Wow, it's fantastic how much help u get on this site! (and, boy, do i need it!) Signed, needykat 2007

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blush


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Thankyou for the advice. I do have wheat seed. Maybe I'll spread that around. with all the rain we've had this week it may even sprout without me having to do any additional watering.

I think I'll see if pine tree garden seeds has any alfalpha. Can I intersperse these two different types of seed?


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After looking at the catalog I think I'll stick with the wheat I already have. That way if I am moved before next spring I won't be out money just time and energy lol.


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I dont see why not Tammy. I read somewhere about mixing cover crops.


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KAT2007 Offline OP
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thanks landofoz ... going crazy here with students getting ready for college .... senior and grad student with us...i will definitely try the mix though. if i can find seeds that sell in small amts!

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if shipping weren't so expensive we could all go in on some. But it costs more to ship alittle than to by the whole 1/2 lb or so. lol.


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Tammy, How long can u keep seed? Dores it depend on the mfr or how you store? Guess "freezing them" is out of the question lol kat

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Most seeds will keep from 3-5 years. Keep them in a dry, not frozen, not too hot place. I have mine in a shoe box in my craft room on the shelf


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As far as wheat is concerned. seeds found in the pharoh's pryamids were sprouted after laying in the tomes for 3,000 years.

Mine I keep in a food storage metal tin with a plastic lid. I've had them for about a year and a half and they have no problem germinating lol.

As far as the rest of my seeds I put them in paper envelopes and then into a plastic drawer.

As far as how long they last that depends on the type of seed. Some seeds must be sown when fresh. One that falls into that category is Bird of Paridise. There are others as well coffee beans have to be planted fresh.

Some need to be planted within a year like paparika pepper seeds.

And some can be stored for several years.

Last edited by tkhooper; Aug 27th, 2007 at 05:03 AM.

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thanks, tk, b een working so couldn't say thanks. kat

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Your Welcome.


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Kat, what did you end up deciding to plant?





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