Living Mulch & Green Manure questiongreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I have a question about "living mulch". I had read somewhere about planting Hairy Vetch around tomatoes and even sweet corn as a mulch-has anyone tried this? If so, how did it work? Is it worth the cost of the seed? Any good reference material on this? What about Green Manure's? Thanks for any info on this, and by the way I Love this site! I have learned so much here, as well getting familiar with some of the regulars........love Little Bit's posts, as I am always impressed and encouraged by her well thought out and reasoned opinions! Also enjoy the discussions on the second ammendment, and the humor is great! Anyway, thanks in advance.
-- wjl7 (email@example.com), June 18, 2000
I tried clover and edible soybeans at different times in sweet corn and wasn't particularly pleased with the result. The only experience I've had with vetch is that it tends to make an impenetrable mat about 18" deep. This was in a roadside, not a garden but very difficult to walk in. The clover was difficult to plow down and be rid of and the beans seemed to shade the bottom of the stalks too much. I think with the beans, I planted them too early in the corn's development. You see bands of corn and beans grown commercially so that might work better.
-- marilyn (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 19, 2000.
White dutch clover worked well for me and I did get some real good corn. Im one of the eternally broke kinds of homesteaders so I dont usually do it as the price just isnt worth it for me (or maybe I just dont know a cheap enough source of seed).
-- William in WI (email@example.com), June 19, 2000.
Vetch is a serious problem out here. Check and see if it is a problem in your area. That should be one of your first considerations. If it gets away from you, it could take over your fields. annette
-- annette (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 19, 2000.
I tried the vetch with corn and it was a mess. The pole beans with corn worked really well, though. The corn has to be 15" or more before you plant the beans or the beans will outpace the corn and choke it out.
-- Doreen (email@example.com), June 19, 2000.
Last year after we tilled and weeded the sweet corn for the last time,I sent my husband to plant red clover in the corn and buckwheat where one kind of corn didn't grow. He planted both in the corn and by the time it was ready, the buckwheat was waist high! It looked a little strange but the corn did great and the usual weeds and grass were totally absent. We are going to do it again this year but I intend to try some with just the red clover. Alma
-- alma miller (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 19, 2000.
I havent tried it, but read that hairy vetch makes great living mulch for tomatoes. You start by raising patch of hairy vetch, then give it a severe haircut and set tomatoe plants in the patch. The haircut lets the tomatoes get established. Suppose to work well, even saw some tomatoe farmer in Pennsylvania use it commercially on some PBS show.
-- Hermit John (email@example.com), June 24, 2000.