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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


Vicia villosa


You can grow a cover crop to help build the soil. Plant a grain or legume crop, sometimes called green manure, for the purpose of chopping it down and adding it to the soil.

One way is to plant hairy vetch (Vicia villosa), a nitrogen-fixing legume, in your garden bed in the fall. In the spring, cut it down and till the residue into the soil. This provides both nitrogen and an instant mulch that preserves moisture.

Video >>

I found the above article and video so I think I will try these around my tomato plants any thoughts?
 

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check out the different cover crops sold and the descriptions some are not invasive or toxic. http://www.territorialseed.com/ this is also where I buy my seed for where I live. With me I would do either the clovers, oats or fava bean. since then if my chickens get into the garden or the horses do nobody gets poisoned and they have a good time.
 

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I planted winter rye in my soon-to-be-a-garden plot here in Western Mass; I bought 2 lbs of seed at my local gardening center. I have cardboard down over the whole plot, and a layer of dirt mulch over about 1/3 of the cardboard. The rye grew very well, and helped the cardboard break down pretty fast. My hens, and the wild turkeys that pass through the yard, liked it very much until the snow covered it up. If it grows tall in the spring, I'll just cut it and toss it in the chicken run. No nitrogen fixation, but at least it helped with the cardboard and should add some organic matter to the soil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I already purchased about 200 hairy vetch seeds so I will cut them down before they flower or go to seed I don't have livestock just cats. I have a nicely controlled area. The words toxic in my organic garden is scary though.

From what I understand once they break down in a compost pile they are not toxic.
 

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yes all toxic plants once composted are ok in any garden, it is just some thing I can't risk having livestock. besides if you plant a cover crop of say buckwheat you can strip the seeds and get a grain mill and grind up a bit of flour same for oats. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm hearing so many different things about the Vetch I may just take your advice Stephanie and use something else.
 

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don't waste the seed you have purchased find another way to grow it and then compost it. try just sprouting the seed like you would for alfalfa sprouts then spread it out and let it dry then compost it. That way you still get the benefits but not the hassle of trying to get it pulled up or tilled in to compost it.
 
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