Oct 15, 2021
Recent rainfall at the farm provided the perfect opportunity for the sowing of the first cover crops.
After getting the seeder set up and calibrated, the first sowing took place in a small uncultivated area down alongside Eden Lassie Creek as it was too wet to sow in the cultivated ground that had earmarked for the trial blocks.
The first seeding consisted of three cover crop species - rye corn (a fast-growing grass crop which produces a lot of plant biomass), buckwheat (a fast-growing flowering broadleaf) and tillage radish, which is a deep-rooted brassica which sends it tuber root deep into the soil profile to scavenge for nutrients. When it finishes growing and dies, it leaves behind large pores in the soil which help with water infiltration and aerates the soil.
We are aiming to develop and utilise mixed-species cover crops. Future mixes will also include legumes such as sunn hemp and cowpea ad we establish what crops and combinations are suitable for different seasons and as part of the agave-growing system.
The seed germinated rapidly in the warm, moist conditions taking just a few days to poke through the soil surface. The photos below were taken one week after sowing. The quick germination and rapid growth rate is a key requirement for cover crops we aim to use so as to outcompete weeds and prevent them from growing and setting seed.