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Anybody cover crop in the off season? - Printable Version

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Anybody cover crop in the off season? - Dirtdiggler - 01-07-2020

I like to reuse my container media as I traditionally do organic outdoor.  I know it’s frowned upon to most but it works for me.  If your new don’t buy into the hype of swapping media out every year.  It’s not necessary unless you’re using synthetics.  

That being said I like to use Austrian winter pea during winter months and a short buckwheat crop after harvest (cut before it flowers or your taking a step back).  I do this with the containers.  

In ground I have a heavy clay here which has a high CEC but it needs to be accessed.  Large oaks near by help bring up the good stuff but I use Sorghum to break up the deeper layers to improve drainage.  In doing that I’ve noticed heavy metals in my soil reports.  Bio char in late winter helps break that down. During that time I haven’t noticed a difference in the biochar application whether it’s activated or not.  I’m probably wrong but I think non activated helps eat up those metals a little quicker.  By spring it’s activated. It does tend to bring up the pH quicker than any lime agents, but with all the other organic amendments it balances out when it’s go time.

RE: Anybody cover crop in the off season? - jrj420 - 01-08-2020

Recycled soil is the only way to grow for me!
I plant cover crops too... I like to throw down a cover crop soon as I chop even on my indoor pots!! Ive tryd tons of diff mulchs and cover crops... One of my faves is chea! I am useing chea along with wild strawberrys and BAS clover blend right now... Also carrots are good!
Bio char is great for adding carbon! Also a great place to harbor microbe populations! Good stuff. I would bet it dose help w your heavy metals but ive never done any research on that...

RE: Anybody cover crop in the off season? - Dirtdiggler - 01-08-2020

On your indoors as well ??! I’ve never used chia before except as a pet. What are it’s benefits? Do you cut it down, or just stir it in?

RE: Anybody cover crop in the off season? - jrj420 - 01-09-2020

Lol yup my no till pots get cover crops. I like to topdress, mulch and cover crop soon as i chop...
So chia... It makes a good mat of roots on the surface that helps hold in moisture and what not.... There is tons of good stuff going on with chia... I wish i had some facts for ya.. Its just somthing ive found works well... Give it a try!