Our Garden Cover Up Mix grows vigorously until killing frost, giving you a spring mulch needing very little to no preparation before planting. Ideal for cool season gardens. This mix will loosen topsoil while protecting from winter erosion and nutrient loss and suppress weeds. The surface residue and root volume provides food for soil microorganisms to create more healthy soil.
Our mix is focused on improving soil health and microorganism biodiversity, adding organic matter and carbon content to the soil along with weed suppression. Side benefits include attracting beneficial insects, increasing spring nitrogen availability and reducing wind and water erosion of the soil. The Garden Cover Up Mix is made up of 70% legumes and 30% grasses.
Ideal planting times are early August through mid-September. Can be planted around mature garden vegetables or in spaces left as older plants are removed. Lightly broadcast seeds and work into the top half inch of moist soil, or cover with 1/2 inch of mulch or compost. Water to equivalent of 1 inch of rainfall per week until seedlings become established. Do not fertilize the cover crop mix as this delays the nitrogen fixing action of the legumes.
These rates will give a thick cover crop for maximum weed suppression and soil benefits.
1 lb will seed approximately 200 sq. feet of garden beds
8 oz will seed approximately 100 sq. feet of garden beds
4 oz will seed approximately 50 sq. feet of garden beds
Legumes in the mix –
Crimson Clover – Annual legume, used as a nitrogen fixer, soil improver/builder, erosion preventer, ground cover and for forage. In areas of freezing winters, clover will be frost killed while in warmer winter areas it will need to be mowed or weed whacked to kill it.
Horizon Forage Pea – Annual legume, valued as a high nitrogen fixer, weed suppressor and forage that creates a high root mass, adding organic matter to the soil. Excellent soil improver, and good erosion control, weed suppression and grazing choice. Quick growing in a short time frame.
Hairy Vetch – Annual legume used to fix nitrogen, suppress weeds, loosen and condition topsoil and reduce erosion while improving soil organic matter and carbon content. One of the only legume that provides an allelopathic residue, hindering the germination of many weeds the next season.
Grains in the mix –
Cereal Oats – Annual grain used to suppress weeds, prevent erosion, scavenge excess nutrients, add biomass and as a nurse crop. Oats are also an excellent nurse companion crop to legumes, increasing the fertilizer and nitrogen fixing values.
Cereal Rye – Annual grain used for erosion prevention, soil structure and drainage improvement, adding organic matter to soil, weed suppression and excess nutrient scavenger. It provides an allelopathic residue which hinders the germination of many weeds the next season, like oats.
Buckwheat – Annual grain providing a quick soil cover and stabilization, weed suppressor, pollinator and beneficial insect nectar source, topsoil loosener and low fertility soil rejuvenator. It also has an extensive root system, bringing up deep nutrients to the surface, encouraging beneficial microorganisms, reducing soil diseases and provides an allelopathic residues like oats and rye.
I've grown vegetables in my 4 4'x12' raised beds for over 25 year, renewing the soil annually with a layer of compost; yields had become just OK. Two autumns ago I planted the Cover Up Mix, turned it into the soil in spring, covered the beds with the usual compost; happily report last year's yields were up appreciably. The garden was positively lush (an unusual state in our high desert environment with 2017's prolonged high summer heat). So I planted your cover crop mix again last fall and am looking forward to this year's results. Definitely recommend!
First time I've used a cover crop; planted 6 weeks ago in 1/2 of my garden because the other half was still producing. Easy to plant, grew quickly with great coverage. The best part is that everywhere the cover crop was planted there are NO WEEDS! Morning glory has been my biggest problem and I have none where I planted the cover crop. Seeing the comparison between the two halves has made me a believer... already re-ordered enough for the whole garden for next year, and plan on using it in my flower beds, too. Highly recommend!