Easy to grow alfalfa establishes easily and grows very quickly. In gardens or row crop rotation, it produces plenty of top growth and a complementary amount of root growth to incorporate as green manure. It can produce as much as 200 lbs per acre of nitrogen and yield up to 3 tons per acre of dry matter. Sown in early May and provided with adequate water, can be cut twice for a nitrogen rich mulch or protein rich hay and later plowed in a green manure. This variety is perfect for rejuvenating worn out soils. Plant in early Spring: April-May. Planting rate: ½ lb per 1000 sq ft; 15-20 lbs per acre$9.75
Builds and increases organic matter and nitrogen content of soil. Plant in mid-August to early September to allow plants to come up and harden off, or plant in early November or before ground freezes and seed will germinate in the spring to provide an early season plowdown. Plant alone or mix with winter rye at an approximate ratio of 50% rye to 50% peas. Under good conditions, it will provide 100 lbs of nitrogen per acre wihen plowed in at half flower. Planting rate: 2 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft.; total seed per acre whould be 80-100 lbs.$5.00
Especially valuable for its release of phosphorus, buckwheat also contributes a significant amount of organic matter. Very competitive with weeds, good for breaking up the soil. Can grow two crops in the north. Bees love it! Seed when ground is well warmed and after last spring frost; it has no frost tolerance. When June planted, in 35 days it is waist high, in bloom and ready to plow under. Good to follow with a fall crops of rye and Austrian winter pea. Good bugs love buckwheat! Just rake in some seed after harvesting an annual crop and buckwheat will keep out the weeds and look great doing it. Green Lacewing adults will feast on the nectar then deposit their "aphid lion" eggs on nearby garden crops.
Planting rate: 1 lb. per 1,000 sq. ft.; 37-50 lbs per acre.$15.00
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Valuable soil-improvement crop. Vigorous legume produces huge amounts of nitrogen-rich biomass for turning under. Can be planted in the spring through late summer. Late summer (late August early September) planted vetch will winter over, growing vigorously the following spring. Can be mixed with oats or rye for maximum weed competition. Hardy; will also sprout in the spring if planted before the ground freezes in November (like winter rye). Demands fairly fertile soil and adequate rainfall as is shallow-rooted. Livestock caution: Seeds are poisonous. Planting rate: 1 lb per 1,000 sq ft; 40 lbs per acre.$12.50
Perennial. A low-growing perennial clover that forms a nice mat perfect for pathways between beds. It competes well against quckgrass and, although the plants grow over into the beds, they can easily be pulled back with a rake before mowing. As a green manure/cover crop, it fixes nitrogen and since it's perennial, can be plowed in at any time. Pre-inoculated seed. Plant in early spring: April-May.
Planting rate: ½ lb per 1,000 sq. ft.; 8-10 lbs per acre for dry land, 10-12 lbs per acre for irrigated land.$9.00
(biennial if allowed to go to seed) Very hardy, valued for its ability to break up hardpan soils with a profusion of roots and root hairs. It suppresses weeds, especially quck grass, both by aggressive growth and by exuding a natural herbicide. Adaptable to a wide range of soil and climate conditions. Can be planted from early spring until the ground freezes as a winter cover crop. Plant in the fall with winter peas for nitrogen, organic matter arnd weed suppression. NOTE: If not mowed, rye will grow into three foot tall cereal grain crop. Planting rate: 3 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft.; 100-140 lbs per acre.$7.00
Tremendous green manure and bee pasture. Less tendency to winterkill. Planting rate: ¼ lb. per 1,000 sq. ft.$7.50