WCS Garden Cover and Color Mix
The WCS Garden Cover and Color Mix is a very complex cover crop mix designed for maximum improvement in soil health and nutrient cycling. Use this mix to increase organic matter, penetrate and loosen compacted soil and hardpan layers, increase soil aggregation and aeration, suppress weeds and undesirable insects, and add biotic materials to support microbial life.
This mix is winter hardy and will continue growth in the spring.
Plant in August to mid September. May be planted around mature warm season vegetables to begin protecting the soil before your garden is put to rest. Trim up plants to ensure sunlight and water to germinating seedlings. Combine seeds with provided inoculant and plant within 30 days of mixing. Lightly broadcast the seeds and work into the top one half inch of soil or cover with mulch or compost. Hand held broadcast spreaders are ideal for application. Drop spreaders are not recommended with the varied seed sizes. Seeds should have moisture equivalent to 1” of rainfall per week until seedlings are established. Do not fertilize cover crops as this slows down the nitrogen fixation of the legumes. If you have seed left over, reseal the bag and store seed in cool location out of the sun. If planting after 30 days, the inoculant will no longer be viable and you should purchase fresh for your cover
crop to fix nitrogen effectively. We are able to provide replacement packets.
Some of the plants in this mix will winter kill after several days below 30 deg F. The Cereal Rye, Winter Barley, Hairy Vetch and Crimson Clover will survive winter and continue growing in the spring to add a flush of organic material, nitrogen and early blooms for pollinators and beneficial insects. The live plants can be terminated at full bloom stage, approximately mid to late May by mulch mowing, weed whipping, herbicide or tilling. Follow with warm season vegetables.
Until cover crops have been in use for several years and your soil structure is rehabilitated and healthy levels of microorganisms are present, expect to water and fertilize vegetables at current levels, cutting back as soil health and organic matter levels improve.
Tilling will accelerate loss of nitrogen and consumption of organic matter by soil bacteria and will retard soil health.
Avoid tilling whenever possible. Never leave your soil naked!
Ideally you should test soil for nutrient levels and organic matter content every 3 to 5 years.
Note: Micronoc inoculant contains a broad spectrum of nitrogen fixing rhizobia bacteria as each legume requires a different strain.
Micronoc also contains mycorrhizal fungi to aid plants root nutrient uptake. This product is OMRI approved for use in organic gardens.