Howdy ya’ll, this month I am excited to share my past two years with cover crops. I learned about cover crops when I watched a keynote given by Gabe Brown. His keynote got me thinking that this is something that I can do on my farm to improve my soil. My curiosity lead me to find other regenerative agriculturalists Dave Brandt, Ray Archuletta, Joel Salatin and Greg Judy to name a few. Their methods of farming have inspired me to take better care of my land and to work with nature.
As I have been experimenting with cover crops these past few years I have noticed that my soil is changing color and it is becoming better at holding moisture. The key concepts for using cover crops is to mimic nature. Keeping the ground covered as much as possible so that the ground is not exposed to direct sunlight. Keeping a root system at all times in the ground. Using animals to trample the cover crops or you can use a roller/crimper to push down the cover crops, this breaks down the cover crops and covers the ground. I have been using a string trimmer in my fields, since I have small plots, to mow the cover crops. This leaves a residue on the ground, leaves the roots in the ground and leaves enough stem for regrowth. When I want to prep an area for garden use I use my chickens to prep the area for me. These are some of the topics that I did not cover in the video. Perhaps in future videos I will cover more. You will find my soil test results with the suggested amendments below.
As you can see from the suggested amendments I still need a lot of magnesium. I have researched last year for different magnesium amendments but they all have so much sulfur in them. K-Mag and SulPoMag are the 2 I found and they both have a lot of elemental sulfur and I do not need to be added more sulfur in my soil. They are also chemical fertilizers so I try my best to stay away from chemical fertilizers. If I cannot find a natural alternative I will go with that as a last resort. For the micronutrients I use Azomite to amend my soil. I use blood meal for nitrogen and bone meal for phosphorous. I have read that greensand is a good source of magnesium. I will be trying that this year.
I hope you all enjoyed this post. Have an awesome day, evening, night or morning, whenever you are reading this post. Until the next time, take it easy ya’ll.