First, I am tilling under a 1/2-acre watermelon/cantaloupe crop after
harvest this week and want to put in a cover crop for the winter. This is
sandy loam, pH 6.5, and I have t-tape and overhead irrigation available. The
field was spaded with a 12-inch deep spader in mid-June 1999. Currently it
has melon vines and a huge crop of weeds, crab grass and fescue that
re-established. I want to add more nitrogen to the soil, be able to graze
turkeys on the cover crop in October-November, light grazing of meat goats
and beef bulls thru the winter, and turn under a decent amount of green
matter and root mass in late April 2000 so I can replant watermelons and
cantaloupes on the field in early May. What would you suggest?
Second, in early May 2000 I will put down red plastic mulch for the melons,
with beds spaced about 3-feet apart. I want to plant a cover crop in the
strip between the beds to protect the soil, cushion the melons that stray
out off the plastic mulch, add nitrogen, and keep weeds from germinating.
What would you suggest?
Andy Lee, Good Earth Farm, Buena Vista, Virginia
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