Cover crop or green manure variety?

Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:21 pm

It's January in mid-Michigan here and I'm already thinking about this years attempt at growing corn. What do you all think I should plant as a cover crop or "green manure" prior to planting corn... clover, buckwheat, vetch, cowpeas, etc.? Thanks.

Re: Cover crop or green manure variety?

Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:12 pm

By the time you are able to work the soil in the spring, I don't think you'll have time to get any kind of a cover crop established before you get the corn in. Plant a cover crop as early in the fall as you can after the corn and other crops are finished. I use cereal rye.

http://www.covercrops.msu.edu/

Re: Cover crop or green manure variety?

Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:34 pm

I agree with Don. I use cereal rye. Buckwheat makes a good summer cover crop,in places where early crops are finished, and you don't intend to plant a late crop. Don't let the buckwheat seed ripen, or you'll have a new weed. Till under, at blooming. I have seeded clover, in the corn patch with clover, in the middle of the season, and it grows, without affecting with the corn crop. Ed

Re: Cover crop or green manure variety?

Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:29 am

When you do plant your cover crop next fall buy some "dear plot" seed. It's a good mix and only about $20/50 #. This years corn consider a companion crop like pole beans.

Re: Cover crop or green manure variety?

Sat Jan 16, 2010 3:28 pm

You could still plant the clover in the corn/bean mix and I dont think it would hurt anything!---might not even grow! (lack of light)---I never had any luck growing anything in the corn!( corn gets too tall and smothers out EVERTHING in its reach!) thanks; sonny

Re: Cover crop or green manure variety?

Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:05 am

Here in Maryland I plant KYLE AND TURNIPS. Had my soil tested by delaware university, and they said KYLE AND TUNIPS
is a good cover crop for Corn .I plant silver queen broadcast lime and side dress with 10-10-10 spray at knee high.
BEST CORN IN MARYLAND JOHNNY J :)

Re: Cover crop or green manure variety?

Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:29 am

Johnny,

What do you spray your corn with? Are you talking grass killer or bug killer? I am afraid to use weed/grass killer around my corn.

Billy

Re: Cover crop or green manure variety?

Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:37 pm

Billy ! By the time my corn is knee high I don't have a grass and weed problem. I cultivate, and hoe, We have a worm and small black bug that will show up on the end of the ear. The spray I use I buy from southern states.Have to get the name off of the container, but the mix is four oz to the gallon. And it said not to spray when corn is forming , knee high works good for me.NO worms NO black bug. Johnny J

Re: Cover crop or green manure variety?

Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:51 am

I did plant cereal rye in September (maybe that was a bit late but I wouldn't think so) but it only grew about 4" tall - very strange, I think. Since that 4" Rye has wintered over, I wouldn't think you should plant more Rye in the spring on the same spot but I don't know for sure.

I still wonder what would cause the rye to only grow to 4".

Re: Cover crop or green manure variety?

Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:55 am

Johnny,

Thanks for clearing that up. I don't spray my corn, I just live with the earworm. I only get them in about half the ears.

Billy

Re: Cover crop or green manure variety?

Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:08 am

NoSnooz wrote:I did plant cereal rye in September (maybe that was a bit late but I wouldn't think so) but it only grew about 4" tall - very strange, I think. Since that 4" Rye has wintered over, I wouldn't think you should plant more Rye in the spring on the same spot but I don't know for sure.

I still wonder what would cause the rye to only grow to 4".

That's consistent with the results I get. Depending on how early in the spring you turn it under, it will take off when the soil starts to warm.

Re: Cover crop or green manure variety?

Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:48 am

Not sure what the weather is doing up there now. Don't worry about the 4". When the soil warms up you can probably hear it grow. As long as you can turn the cover about 6 weeks before planting it will have done it's job. FYI about these pesticides and herbicides. If you read and follow the label exactly the toxicity is 1/100 of what is considered harmful. That's not my number, it came from a major agriculture university.

Re: Cover crop or green manure variety?

Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:46 pm

4" is normal for rye/wheat,--actually quite good!---when warm spring weather hits it will become your worst nightmare weed in the garden and pester you all summer!!---LOL!! thanks; sonny

Re: Cover crop or green manure variety?

Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:21 pm

Johnny,

Kyle? - do you mean Kale?