It’s still August but I have got the
fall gardening fever. Now I’ve got my pole beans planted and I’ve got my fall
cucumbers planted and they are just starting to come up and I got really
good germination on those so I’m really happy about that
but now it’s time to get some of these other plots ready for some cool weather
crops in the next few weeks we’ll be starting some transplants in the
greenhouse so we need to get these plots ready for when those transplants get
ready we can stick them in the ground we’ve got several plots here in the
dream garden that have some nice-looking cover crops on them but it’s time to
start extinguishing or starting to get rid of those cover crops so we can get
these areas ready for fall planting and today I want to show you how we start to
do that behind me here I’ve got a really thick and dense crop of Sorghum Sudangrass looks really good it’s about almost shoulder tall in some spots but
as you can see here it’s starting to go to seed so we need to do something with
it. Now this Sorghum Sudangrass is so thick
and so tall that I don’t really have a mower that can get in there and mow
this kind of vegetation right here now I could use dad’s flail mower but I don’t
have that with me at the moment so we’re going to try something a little
different we’re gonna try to crimp this stuff we’re going to basically try to
lay it down and I’m gonna try to take my riding lawnmower and lay the deck all
the way down as low as it’ll go and run over this stuff and the goal here is to
kind of break it or fold it down so it lays down on the ground once we’ve got
it laying down we can then come lay our tarp on top of it and the tarp will help
kill all that vegetation there so we’re gonna take our riding lawnmower and see
if we can just lay this stuff down so we can get in here and get the tarp on top
of it. Well that actually worked pretty dang
good that’s the first time I’ve ever tried doing that just putting the mower
deck all the way down not turning the blades on just to kind of bend it over
now it didn’t lay it down quite as much as if we would have had an actual roller
or crimper but laid it down good enough where we can get in here and put our
tarp over this stuff and start to kill this stuff back so let’s go get our tarp
and we’ll put it on this plot so this here is our 6 mil silage tarp that
we can use to extinguish a cover crop like we’re doing today or we can use it
to create a whole new garden plot on somewhere in the yard you might have
just grass growing. We need to kill this vegetation here before we can come in
here and lightly cultivate the soil and prepare it for planting obviously we
don’t want to use a herbicide to do that we can’t till it right now because it
would just choke down our tiller with all this green vegetation here so we can
lay this tarp on it it’s a really easy way to go ahead and kill all this stuff
so then we can get in there and work the soil as far as the silage tarp goes we
actually have a new size available on the website we started out with a 40 by
50 which is good for a larger garden but now we also have a 40 by 30 version for
some of you with the smaller gardens and that’s going to work almost perfect for
these plots in my dream garden which are 30 by 35 I’ll have to fold it over a
little bit on the ends but it should work pretty well so let’s get this thing
spread out over this area right here and let’s put the bricks on it if you’ll
notice I laid the Sorghum Sudangrass down all in one direction so it would be
easier for me to lay this tarp over the area so let’s get to it. Alright so we got our silage tarp put
on top of that Sorghum sudangrass that we crimp down with the lawn mower now
my plan here is to let that die off and then I want to come in here and
we’re going to compost and I’m gonna lightly till it now it should only take
about two weeks for this stuff to actually die as hot as it’s been being
from my experiences it won’t take very long so in two weeks what I’ll do is
I’ll fold that tarp over and I’m going to come in here and put about an inch or
two of compost over the entire plot this plot here needs some work so we’re gonna
compost the whole thing and then I’m gonna come in here with my tiller and I’m just
gonna lightly till the first couple inches of soil there just to kind of
cultivate it so I can plant in it when I get ready to now the tilling process is
also gonna probably bring up a few weed seeds so we want to put the tarp back on
it for another couple weeks to kill any of those weed seeds that get brought to
the surface and then when we pull this tarp off and say four to five weeks when
we’re ready to put our transplants in this soil should be nice and pretty and
we shouldn’t have to do anything to it but just pull the tarp off maybe lay our
drip tape and plant so now that we’ve got our Sorghum Sudangrass taken care
of let’s walk on over to our brown top millet plot and see what our plan of
action is going to be over there this plot here is where we planted our brown
top millet cover crop and this stuff started going to seed a few days ago and
so it’s time to do something with this plot here we’re still going to tarp this
plot but we’ve got a little different game plan before we tarp it now this
millet can get tall like the Sorghum Sudangrass if it’s planted thin enough
I planted this really thick on purpose because I wanted to suppress weeds I had
a little weed issue in here with my winter squash so I
wanted to have a dense mat of vegetation so I didn’t didn’t have any new weed
growth so this stuff only got probably about knee-high so since it wasn’t as
tall I was able to get in here with my push mower and already mow it one time
I’m gonna mow it one more time before we put the tarp on it and I’m gonna lower
the mower deck down a little bit when I do that so this here’s my little push
mower that I used to mow my walkways in my dream garden and this thing has a
mulching deck kit on it which means when it cuts the grass it’s going to leave it
right there it’s not gonna blow it all over the place and I like that for my
pathways so I’m not blowing grass into my garden plots but it also works really
good from mowing down these cover crops when we’re mowing those cover crops we
want to leave all that biomass there so it feeds the soil in that plot we don’t
want to spray it out everywhere into the yard so the first time I cut this millet
here I had the deck all the way up just so I could get through it was a little
thick now I’m going to lower this deck down and kind of really cut it close and
that’s going to help speed up the breakdown of this vegetation so we can
get in this plot sooner and plant some fall crops sooner. Alright so we got that mowed pretty close
there and you can see even though that millet didn’t get that tall we got some
nice good green material there to help feed that soil
will tarp that in there and let that decompose really nicely. Alright so I’m
gonna go grab a 30 by 40 tarp and put it on this plot just like I did with the
Sorghum Sudangrass plot as you can see here it doesn’t take a lot of fancy
equipment to do this cover cropping technique to build your soils all it
really took us today was a lawnmower and then the tarp so we used a lawn mower to
either crimp it or mow it and then we use the tarp to break it down and help
to get it ready for planting so just about anybody can do it doesn’t take a
big flail mower or a big tractor at all you can do it on a very small scale just
like we’re doing here so get your gardens ready for fall. Fall planting is
right around the corner if it isn’t already here. I’ll put some links below
to our cover crops and our silage tarp so you can check those out. I hope you
enjoyed this video. We’ll see you next time.