Cover Cropping While You Wait For Wood Chips

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hairy vetch up close

What I love about Paul Gautschi’s wood chip gardening method is its simplicity and ease.  But you may still be waiting to get your first batch of wood chips, or waiting to get more wood chips to cover other areas of your garden.  While you’re waiting, it’s a good idea to keep your soil covered and protected.

A great way to keep your soil covered while you’re waiting for wood chips is to use cover crops—also known as green manure. I’ve used cover crops successfully myself for several years to improve the soil, feed the chickens and keep the weeds down.  A year or so ago I was introduced to some excellent cover cropping information developed by Cindy Conner.  According to Cindy,

“Cover crops are crops grown specifically to feed the soil, although some also produce food for people in the process.”

Adding to what Cindy said, some crops are also a great source for feeding chickens and other farm animals.  Some of my favorite cover crops are cereal rye grass, alfalfa and hairy vetch.  They provide a great source of biomass material if you are building compost piles.

Cindy talks about the different types of cover crops, how to use them and plan them into your garden rotation.  Read Cindy’s full article on how to use cover cropping in your garden.

Read original article at

While you’re waiting for your first batch of wood chips or looking to get more, try out covering cropping as a means to improve your soil and keep it covered!

Have you used or are you using cover crops?  If so, what are your favorite crops?


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