hey what’s going on everybody are you looking for a cheap easy
effective way to build your soil organically at home in your garden beds well then some start talking about cover
cropping around me i got about 2,000 square feet of buckwheat and cow peas
growing the soil is loving it the honeybees are loving it so let’s get into and start talking
about and get you successful with cover crops let me tell you what I got going on here
about a month ago I had about 10 tons of soil excavated from my front yard from a
driveway project and dumped in my backyard had some low-lying areas here
that i needed filling and so I took about 2-3 inches at topsoil place it
over the existing crab grass and bermuda grass lawn that I had going on and then
I started to realize man instead of letting all that stuff go back in why not use it and so I wanted to came
up with an idea of getting like a cut flower farm and heirloom vegetable
production which would supply our garden center in downtown Nashville and I knew
that before I could even start planting seeds or starts I had to build the soil and this is a
big mistake I see a lot of beginners make early on and I get it they’re
excited they want to get out and work in the garden but if you do not work
organic matter of some sort into that soil before you start planting you’re
going to work always a lot of effort and not wind up with a lot of results ok so let’s start the first things first
cover crop seed what you see here is the mix that I use
for this plot the brown seeds up top are the cow peas and black seeds down below
those are the buck wheat seeds so now buckwheat is a fantastic cover crop for
this region spring summer temperatures rose really quickly two to three feet
tall throws a lot of leaf stems root systems
very quickly and really forms a great biomass which is essentially what all i
just talked about and as you get worked into the soil with the tiller shovel
breaks down into organic matter and really feeds the soil that way has a
really deep taproot system that really breaks up some of that harder clay here
in our region as far as the kelpies are concerned copies are legume which is essentially a
cover crop that fixes nitrogen it literally takes a nitrogen from the
atmosphere fixes it into its root structure which then leeches into the
soil and nitrogen is a fantastic fertilizer for the incoming crops
planted after this so the cow peas and the buckwheat
essentially will get turned in with the tiller and allows that organic matter to
really break down into the soil now as far as application rates are
concerned the I used about who 56 ounces of buckwheat 400 square feet and about
three to four ounces of cowpeas per hundred square feet and since i had
about 2,000 square feet I just wrapped up those numbers and
wound up probably about eight to nine pounds of buckwheat applied and 167
pounds of cow pc and applied so I think it’s worth noting that if I hadn’t had
just this bear topsoil here to begin with I probably would have used a tiller at
the very first step to break up some of this premier crab grass lawn area that i
was working in and I probably incorporated that cover crop seed mix
during the time of tilling to really kind of work that cover crop see deeper
in to the layers of soil for better germination but i didn’t had bare soil
and I did the application rate like I just said I think in hindsight I would
have used these still times before the broadcast process tried to really scrape
some really deep grooves into that soil and get that seat as low as I could in
the soil and then really bring about an inch of soil over top of that cover crop
seed I also probably could have went back and
did a mulching of wheat straw / top just the light mulching it really helps hold that moisture and
keeps those birds from getting out to your cover crop seed and makes a big
difference in the germination rate down the road but overall I’m really happy
with what came about so one last thing I thought would be
worth mentioning for those who have smaller gardens and they’re using cover
crops you don’t need all this heavy equipment
like I have here with the rotor tiller in the mower you really just need some hedge shears
or weed eater to break down that cover crop and then a shovel to kind of turn
it into your soil that’s about it for me today going to take my tiller off and go
work in that cover crop I really appreciate ya’ll watching I’m
gonna keep on doing this video series promoting organic techniques in the
garden in the landscape I got a ton of topics that I want to
include in the coming months and years so last couple words of wisdom that i
have for cover crops no matter what region of the country you
live in or what season you find yourself in spring summer winter fall you can
find a cover crop that’s gonna do what you want to do in your garden so go online get you some cover crop
varieties they’re cheap they’re easy to work with great way to organically build
the soil and I believe in you so I’m gonna get back to it and thanks
again Matt Kerske Gardens of Babylon yeah