Winter rye cover crop in the vegetable garden

Winter rye sprouts in the vegetable garden

Look at our pretty green sprouts.

Fall in Ontario is about brown. Gardening season is done. Leaves, grass, flowers are all pretty drab. But we have one new crop growing.

This is our winter rye cover crop in the vegetable garden. It’s our first time trying a cover crop.

We love our garden and how productive it is. So we’re working hard to maintain the quality of our soil. Last year, I spread straw and manure all over the garden. This year, we’re going with so-called green manure.

In the spring, we’ll cut the rye and turn it into the soil.

Have you ever grown a cover crop? Do you have any green growing at your house?

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9 thoughts on “Winter rye cover crop in the vegetable garden

  1. We do this on our farm. We dont have animals, so no manure, we will seed oats in the fall and plough them under in the spring, then plant oats again (in spring after plough down) and plough them down in the fall. Then in the spring we plant our crop, alfalfa or hay.

    • They have the same basic growth pattern. If you are harvesting the oats you leave them for longer because you want the oats but if you are ploughing them down you want to do it before the oats are mature so they don’t produce new oats ( Although some always show up). We cut our alfalfa 3 times a year because it grows super fast but only cut the hay twice.

  2. I’ve never heard of this green manure. Does it count if a bunch of grass has grown into the plot where our veggie garden is supposed to go?

  3. Thank you Levis for the information!

    Last year was the first time I had seen farmers around here plant radishes over the winter. It may add nutrients to the soil too, but I understand when they rot away they will leave voids in the dirt that loosen the soil. I found that really interesting.

    If someone knows more about this, please correct me!

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