Cover Crop

Happy Labor Day and Welcome September!

The photo shows the bed I used this year for lettuce and beans, now sprouting red clover.

This year, I decided to try a cover crop in my raised beds–at least in some of them–instead of using black plastic bags as a weed preventer. Or discourager, since nothing prevents weeds.

The purpose of the cover crop–besides crowding out weeds–is to add nitrogen to the soil. And of course, nitrogen is one of the fertilizers that help plants grow.

I chose red clover, available at Amazon here, but probably available at your local nursery or farm supply store. If this is something for you to try, make sure you buy inoculated seed. Innoculation adds a bacterial rhizome, important when adding nitrogen to the soil. It’s the bacteria that converts nitrogen from the atmosphere into nitrogen the plants can use.

I’ve planted red clover before and the flowers are gorgeous. I’m leaving this bed alone for a full year–meaning I’m skipping a season of planting anything else here–to see how well the clover enriches the soil.

Meanwhile, while I’d like to say the daylily separation project proceeds apace, it’s really at a slow pace. The rainy weather has turned the yard and all the flower beds into mini-swamps. Not good for transplanting. I do have some yellow, orange, and pink divided and available to good homes.

Here’s to some dry, cooler weather. While September can be sizzling hot, all the signs point to an early fall. We’ll see.

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