From Cover Crop to Prepped Beds

In the middle of August when we broke ground on our perennial bed, Jason also started another field on the north side of the house and planted a cover crop of buckwheat. Buckwheat is a fast growing crop, and we wanted to get some organic matter into the soil.

Buckwheat plot
The buckwheat was also a huge draw for pollinators – the field was buzzing!

This weekend, the buckwheat was ready to be terminated and Jason was excited to try out the flail mower that we had purchased with our tractor. Hannah and I were also excited to see the flail mower in action so we headed out to the field with camera in hand.

Jason mowing buckwheat

When Jason first started cutting down the buckwheat, we thought that maybe the mower was getting jammed because we were not seeing much material left behind. But no, it was just getting turned into mush! The flail mower made short work of the buckwheat. Once the buckwheat was all down, Jason switched to the rotary plow and we got out our string and tape measures to form the raised beds and bury the crop residue.

Raised beds ready for planting.
Our 50-foot by 40-foot field gave us 10 raised beds.

Now the earthworms have lots of organic material and our beds are nearly ready for planting garlic in October.

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