Cover crops

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by ceballin, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. I've been researching cover crops lately. I want a way to help water retention in my soil when I start my first grow pretty soon. I'm doing a no nutrient grow so the soil is taken care of. I'm also using a drip system. But I'm afraid the amount of direct sunlight the plant will receive during the hotter months will cause the soil to dry faster than I would like.
    I'm curious about whether anyone has used cover crops during any of their grows? I know it's extremely beneficial to use certain plants before you grow but is it bad to use them during?
  2. I recommend you browse for answers and post your question in this "new" no-till thread. These folks are all about no nutes and utilize cover crops to aid in that end. That first page has a lot of info.

    No-Till Gardening: Revisited
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  3. I'm using BAS' cover crop blend now...


    Cover crops not only help the soil retain water, they also promote beneficial bacterial and fungal life. Plants such as clover draw nitrogen out of the air to make more available to other plants. And they act as a living mulch to feed the soil creating more food for soil life in turn creating more food for other plants.

    It's the circle of life.
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  4. I use clover. Not much to research. Just throw clover down and youll be good. Clover fixes nitrogen so its available to the plants so its great to grow along with yoir babys:) [​IMG]
    I have clover sprouting same time as my seedlings:)
  5. Cover crop needs water too have you thought about mulch?
  6. Just wondering can you still use worms with a cover crop?

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  7. ^Yeah, gives them more food and a better environment to live in.
  8. Sweet! Thank you.

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  9. Cool beans!! I'm definitely gonna give that a try. Looks pretty too!! LOL
  10. or you can just mulch with lots of hay/dry leaves.
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  11. Clover only fixes Nitrogen if the seed has been inoculated with a Rhizobium bacteria. Once germinated the bacteria begins to colonize the plant cells in the root nodules. Once established, the bacteria is capable of converting atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia and then provides organic nitrogenous compounds such as glutamine or ureides to the plant. The plant in turn provides the bacteria with organic compounds made by photosynthesis.

    "The nitrogen fixed is not free. The plant must contribute a significant amount of energy in the form of photosynthate (photosynthesis derived sugars) and other nutritional factors for the bacteria. A soybean plant may divert 230% of its photosynthate to the nodule instead of to other plant functions when the nodule is actively fixing nitrogen."

    Nitrogen Fixation by Legumes
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  12. I prefer dead mulch.

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    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  13. #15 stevebombb, Apr 13, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2016
    It also doesn't return the fixed nitrogen to the soil until the root dies and microorganisms degrade the nodules, etc.
    From your same source:
    "The amount of nitrogen returned to the soil during or after a legume crop can be misleading. Almost all of the nitrogen fixed goes directly into the plant. Little leaks into the soil for a neighboring non-legume plant. However, nitrogen eventually returns to the soil for a neighboring plant when vegetation (roots, leaves, fruits) of the legume die and decompose."

    And in some situations, the water lost by the cover crop through transpiration is so much that it's better to use dead material for mulch.

    Nothing's black and white, knowledge is power, combine those 2 and learn as much as you can about what it is you want to know and then make your decision.
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  14. Interesting.. I'm using a combination of straw and clover.
  15. "nitrogen eventually returns to the soil for a neighboring plant when vegetation (roots, leaves, fruits) of the legume die and decompose"

    And is why legume cover crops are mosttly grown and cut down and allowed to decompose or tilled into the surface of the soil.

    "Green manure".

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  16. If cover crop is what you desire Timothy grass or otherwise known as Alfalfa works well, stay away from winter Rye, it can be a bitch to get out of fields if you let it go to seed by accident. I would suggest you don't let any cover crop go to seed before turning it under BTW but rye is exceptionally a pain in the ass.
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  17. When should a cover crop be planted? Can I start one the same time I plant my seed? It's my first run so I might try to get a decaying mulch layer first before I start a living one.

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  18. Would you reccomend using the clover crop blend if you're using SIPs? It's already a wet setup, would these make it too wet?

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