It’s Alive! It’s Alive!

This year we are experimenting with live or living mulch. We planted buckwheat between  rows of  sweet peppers. Although handfuls of seed were broadcasted, the germination rate was poor. Too much rain and too many birds were the perpetrators of this offence. The rain also caused the buckwheat to grow unusually tall.

July 14 2013

live_2

The buckwheat on the right was planted several weeks before…

live_1

…the buckwheat on the left

Because of its height, it was difficult  to tell if the buckwheat was having an adverse effect on the peppers.

We needed a control.

live_4

One row of tall buckwheat was pressed down.
Then David tilled the smaller plants on the other side and planted pole bean seeds.
This does not make for a perfect control, but we utilize every square inch of available ground.

Aug 12th 2013

Time to press down the remaining buckwheat; it has gone to seed and it is time to start harvesting the sweet peppers.

alive_before

before

The pressed buckwheat makes a nice thick mat to walk on. It will be tilled under when the pepper plants are removed making way for our new strawberry patch.

alive_after

after

Aug16th 2013

David said that our pepper plants have never looked better. He was so impressed that he sowed buckwheat between his corn rows.

frankenfarmer_buckwheat_corn

frankenfarmer_corn_2

Sept 2 2013

Because BMSB love to fall and hide in mulch David till under the buckwheat in some of the rows between the peppers.

week_of_buckwheat

to be continued…                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      back to Frankenfarmer

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