When it comes to low maintenance gardening, nothing can quite lend a hand like planting no-till garden cover crops.
Do you want to eliminate nearly all of your weeding woes next year?
Would you like to plant your vegetables next spring with ease, and without the hassle of a rototiller?
And, does the thought of fertilizing your garden 100 percent naturally appeal to you?
Well, if you plant soil-charging, weed-eliminating, no-till garden cover crops this fall, you are well on your way to all three and more!
No-Till Garden Cover Crops – The Secret To A Low Maintenance, High Powered Garden!
Each fall, we plant the soil in the growing rows of our Raised Row Garden with a thick cover crop of annual (winter) rye. It quickly fills the bare soil with a lush, protective, dark green carpet of grass.
That “carpet of grass” helps in more ways than you would ever think. The thick covering protects valuable topsoil, keeping it from eroding from harsh winter winds, rain, sleet and snow.
But more importantly, a cover crop is a huge key to keeping next year’s weeds and weeding chores to a bare minimum. By covering the barren soil with lush growth, it shields a garden from weed seeds blowing and drifting in – and lying in wait to become next year’s weeding woes for you!
Even more, cover crops act as the ultimate organic fertilizer for the garden. A cover crop gives back its nutrients as it grows and decomposes. It fixes nitrogen levels, and recharges valuable nutrient minerals, making them available to grow healthy vegetables every year. And if that wasn’t enough, the roots of cover crops loosen the soil structure below, making it easier for next years vegetable plants to find air, nutrients, and a simple path to strong growth. See : How To Plant A Fall Cover Crop
But Don’t I Have To Till Cover Crops In Next Spring?
One of the best benefits about planting a fall cover crop in your garden is that here is absolutely no need to till it in next Spring!
You can simply mow down a cover crop such as annual rye a few times in the spring, and plant right through the undisturbed surface below. In fact, it makes planting a breeze. We use a simple post hole digger to create our planting holes, and our tomatoes, peppers and more are in the ground in minutes.
That means no messing around with a rototiller or garden plow. No waiting for spring rains to stop so that you can work the soil. And more importantly, it means not disturbing the dirt in the garden to allow new weed seeds to find a home. All in all, it allows you to create the ultimate low-maintenance, high-powered garden!
Why Not Tilling Makes All The Difference
Not having to till your garden is more than just a time and labor saver. It also actually helps keeps soil healthier and stronger. Too much tilling can lead to poor soil structure. It also can wreak havoc on the populations of earthworms and beneficial organisms that lie below the surface.
But more than anything, by not tilling, it will cut your weeding chores 10 fold! Every time garden soil is turned over, the weed seeds on top are getting replanted. Don’t disturb the soil, and those weeds never find a home.
Just stop and think about what happens to soil within days of tilling. The freshly dug earth explodes in a heavy population of sprouting weeds.
So what do you do? You till again…and again…and again. All the while, the weeds multiply, and the soil structure disintegrates more and more.
With no-till garden cover crops and the Raised Row Garden method, those endless chores are eliminated, and so are 99 percent of the weeds. It really is gardening made simple.
In fact, that is why we are so excited to have finally put the entire process of Raised Row Gardening together in our soon to be released book. One source to cover gardening made simple!
We will have a big release article on the Raised Row Gardening book this weekend, but for our loyal followers, you can take a sneak peek at the cover, info and release dates here : Raised Row Gardening – How To Grow Incredible Organic Produce with No Weeding
Happy Gardening, and get that cover crop in! -Jim and Mary. If you would like to receive our DIY, Gardening and Recipe articles each week, sign up via email at the bottom of this post. You can also like and follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. This article may contain affiliate links.