Protect crops (such as watermelon) from sand blasting damage 4. Recycle and restore nutrients in a crop system 6. Winter rains can cause erosion problems for farmers and gardeners, so it’s important to maintain vegetative cover once the crops have been harvested for the year. These winter killed cover crops add organic matter, recycle nutrients, improve soil health, and allow for earlier spring vegetable planting. As its name implies, winter rye is a winter cover crop suitable for overwintering in many … This allows an additional set of vegetables to be grown from the same garden plot. Instead, plant the following cold-tolerant crops, which thrive when the temperatures dip. When planting winter vegetables in late summer, sow the seeds of semi-hardy plants 10 weeks before the average first frost date and hardy plants 8 weeks before. Prevent soil erosion caused by heavy rainfall or winds 3. Easy-to-grow cover crops replenish and protect garden soil. It overwinters easily … Mid-month start cabbage family crops and onion seeds indoors. Crimson Clover. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Temperatures can still dip below the freezing mark on occasion, which can decimate your crops in one swoop. Prepare the cold frame. Depending on the species you plan to grow, autumn and winter cover crops can be sown any time between late summer and late fall. Retain and harvest residual nutrients that would be leached in the off-season 5. Order seeds for cool-weather crops: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, celery, lettuce, and peas. Some of these species are cereal rye, wheat, triticale, barley, and hairy vetch. If you have milder winters (zone … If you till non-legume biomass into the soil, do it several weeks before planting garden crops, because the actively decomposing materials “tie up” nutrients the newly planted crops need. 4 of the cover crop standard) or Table 2b and Figure 1 at the end of this guide. Winterkill of cover crops in zone 6 When I summed up 2010's no-till cover crop experiments , the only question left was how various crops would winterkill here in southwest Virginia. Planting Dates for Winter-Harvest Crops ; Kale (Full) 15: 14: 13 : Tatsoi (Full) 9: 8 : Spinach (Full) 8: 7 : Claytonia (Full) 8: 7 : Kale (Baby) 7: 6 : Spinach (Baby) 6: 5 : Tatsoi (Baby) 6: 5 : Pac Choi (Full) 10: 9: 8 : Cilantro (Full) 10: 9: 8 : Wild Arugula (Full) 9: 8 : Mizuna (Full) 8: 7 : Salad Arugula (Full) 8: 7 : Salad Arugula (Baby) 6: 5 : Cress (Later-Maturing Var.) Create additional income (such as hay production) 8. These winter killed cover crops add organic matter, recycle nutrients, improve soil health, and allow for earlier spring vegetable planting. (These maturation lengths are estimates; check seed packets for specific information.) They’re divided into slow-maturing, middle-maturing, and quick-maturing crops, which is useful when timing plantings for your region. Keeping soil covered over winter protects it from erosion and helps support all the beneficial life associated with it. Buckwheat provides excellent weed suppression, but it must be cut soon after it begins flowering to avoid unwanted reseeding. Sow winter cover crops late this month. by chuck.mcmullan August 28, 2020. (Trifolium vesiculosum) Annual minimum temperature for zone 6 is -5ºF. I love growing heirlooms & experimenting with hundreds of varieties, season extending, crunchy homesteading and permaculture. USDA hardiness zone 6 traverses the United States from coastal Massachusetts and New Jersey inland through Pennsylvania and West Virginia, across the central states through the Four Corners and up to cover most of eastern Oregon and Washington. Brief descriptions of Ensure that crops are compatible with the cropping system and soils. Soil Tilth Addition and Compaction Prevention Crucial to this cover crop procedure is to kill the plants at least three weeks before you plan on planting in that area of the garden. Control weeds through competition for available space, light, water, and nutrients 2. If you start these seeds indoors, you’ll protect your plants from both the hot summer sun and capitalize on space in your garden. In fact, as you will see below in the video, we plant our raised garden rows in a cover crop as soon as a crop finishes. The dead plant matter creates a mulch-like mat on top of the soil surface and reduces soil erosion. 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