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Grow this SUMMER CROP to get AMAZING GARDEN SOIL!


Well folks it is officially hot my temperature gauge read about 92 – 93 degrees first thing this morning and in the middle of the day the heat and the humidity around here are just absolutely Oppressing and this time of year. There’s not a whole lot of vegetable crops that can handle this heat So there’s not a whole lot of vegetables that we can produce in the garden We’ve got our okra which does well in the heat we’ve got our sweet potato patch, which does well in the heat, and we’ve still got our Zinnias, which are going to like the heat and continue to grow throughout the summer But besides that we’re not going to be getting a whole lot of vegetable production Throughout the end of July into August and early September So this is a good time of year to take a break and kind of start to take care of our soils a little bit We want to rehab our soils from those intensive spring plantings and get our soils back in good shape For when we go to plant some fall crops in mid-september On into October in the last few weeks. We’ve showed you some of our cover cropping process We showed you how we got our Sorghum Sudangrass planted We also showed you how we flail mowed our Sunn Hemp and got it tarped and we want to continue that cover cropping process today Before we start planting some more cover crops today Let’s go take a look at our progress on our other two cover crop plots So this is where we had our Sunn Hemp planted And we flail mowed it and tarped this last week and if we pull this up and take a look at it And you can see we’ve got some nice moist soil down there All these weeds that were here are dying off and any new weed seeds that are in the soil are going to germinate and die because they can’t get any light so really happy with how this tarp is working so far here and In just a few weeks this stuff ought to be nice and ready for some fall corn and right here We’ve got our Sorghum Sudangrass that we planted in one of the six sub plots in our new dream garden got really good Germination on this stuff came up really nice and it’s already starting to produce a significant amount of biomass But this stuff will keep getting taller and taller So this should do wonders for this plot here that was struggling a little bit Early this spring and today we’re going to plant two new different cover crops in these two subplots in our dream garden So these two subplots behind me here are on the end of my new dream garden this one I call plot 5. This one plot 6. Plot 5 is where we planted our incredible sweet corn in the spring We’ve already harvested that obviously got those stalks mowed down got that area cleaned up Tilled it up real nice and this plot over here Which is plot number six where we had our small wonder spaghetti squash and our kabocha squash And we’ve already harvested those guys. We’ve got them underneath the barn and they’re storing real nice there now I came out here earlier this morning and me and old Troy got this plot over here nice and tilled up and Ready for the cover crop when I’m planting cover crops I always like to come in there with the tiller beforehand get everything nice and chopped up get that soil kind of nice and fluffy It’s going to give me better seed to soil contact and I just get better germination if I come in here and till it Beforehand. For these two subplots we’re going to be planting buckwheat in one plot and brown top millet in the other. I recently read a report from a study that was done in Argentina where they were experimenting with monocot and dicot rotations and cover crops and what they found was that if you follow a Monocot with a dicot cover crop or follow a dicot with a monocot cover crop that you get a lot more Diversity in your soil life you get a lot more diverse mycorrhizae and soil bacteria Which is going to inevitably lead to healthier soils Now two of our warm season cover crops are monocots and the other two are dicots The Sorghum Sudangrass and the Brown Top Millet are monocots, which means they have a fibrous root system the other two the Sunn hemp and the Buckwheat are Dicots, which means they have more of a taproot root system So in this plot right here where we had our winter squash planted, which is a dicot we’re going to follow that up with a monocot with a brown top millet here and then in the plot back there. Where we had our corn planted corn is a monocot We’re going to follow that with this buckwheat, which is a dicot now this is not an absolute rule by any means but it’s something that we’re trying something that’s been researched and studied and it should give us some healthier soil by providing a more diverse array of Bacteria and mycorrhizae. The brown top millet seed is a smaller finer seed Just like that right there and you can plant this with the garden seeder we’ve done it many times works great But I’ve been broadcasting lately. So that’s what I’m gonna do today. I’m gonna broadcast it and raked in so this is a really tiny seed here and the seeding rate on this is one pound per thousand square feet, but as you know, I like it thick so I’m probably going to put out a little more than that now the buckwheat has a little bigger seed than the millet does there has kind of a triangular shaped seed as You see there and you can plant this with a garden seeder as well But we’re going to just broadcast it today The seeding rate on this stuff is three pounds per thousand square feet So we’ll probably end up planting this whole five-pound bag Just to get it nice and thick. The buckwheat is more of a short-term cover crop and it’s going to mature or start to flower in about a month Which is going to be just right because I’m planning on Trying to squeeze in a crop of seminal pumpkins where I plant this buckwheat So in about a month I’m gonna get this incorporated into the soil and try to get me some seminal pumpkins in Before the cool weather arrives and the brown top millet is more of a long-term cover crop So it’s going to take several months to mature. We’re just going to make a lot of biomass During that time So it’s more of a longer term solution for this plot right here where we’re going to plant the millet and we’ll probably end up incorporating that or maybe even tarping it and kind of wait with this plot until November to plant something there probably something like onions leeks or elephant garlic So I’m going to go ahead and get both of these cover crops Broadcasted and raked in. I’ll put some links below so you can get your warm season cover crops and start Rehabbing your gardens for fall planting. I hope you enjoyed this week’s video. We’ll see you next week.

25 Comments

  1. Gary Schmelzer Author

    Thanks travis excellent video on cover crops. I'm planting the buckwheat. Like I say only 3 things you can grow in his heat is okra sweet potatoes and weeds.

    Reply
  2. Jami Author

    Thanks for the great video as always. Got a question about how to prevent water from puddling on the silage tarps. Someone asked me if my silage tarps become a breeding ground for mosquitos due to the small dips in my land that creates little pools of water from time to time. Was just wondering how to best use the silage tarps in an area thats not completely tilled perfectly flat in a way that will not breed more mosquitos.

    Reply
  3. Gidget Author

    Travis, thanks for all the information videos! You did all the hard work at the University and we benefit from your knowledge. I just wanted to say thanks for sharing your knowledge. We are lucky to have you on utube.

    Reply
  4. Alan Fogle Author

    I live on the Cumberland plateau and we had 55 degrees this morning. July 24, 2019. We have had a lot of rain and cool weather and the okra is not producing well wt all.

    Reply
  5. Rex Childers Author

    It has been extremely hot in MS. Although, it was 67 with 65% humidity this morning with this little cool front moving in. I can actually breathe today. LOL! I just ordered several different varieties of cool season cover crops from ya'll. I've never done the tarps or the cover crops before but ya'll haven't steered me wrong yet. Keep up the good work. I really appreciate all the information you put out there.

    Reply
  6. delsurf71 Author

    Thanks for the info. Do you have any experience with cover crops (specifically buckwheat) and raised beds? I will be chopping mine some and don’t know if I should put it all in one 4×6 bed or run it through the mulching mower and spread it out. I will figure something out.

    Reply
  7. Tom Mathews Author

    That soil is looking good under the tarp. You don't have much longer to go! I think you'll be surprised how easy that plot will be to work. I usually just do a light cultivation with the wheel hoe and rake it out. It's pretty much ready for anything then. If I planned right, that's when I'll water lightly, put the tarp back on for a bit and kill any weed seeds I brought up in the process. I do try to broadfork everything once a year, and that really helps, but the tarps leave your soil in very good condition.

    Reply
  8. JESSE SCOTT Author

    I think that orange bell pepper behind you at the 3.44 min mark in the video is trying to tell you i need a camo hat . As always great informational video .

    Reply
  9. JESSE SCOTT Author

    Travis , have you ever considered using tillage radish as an over winter cover crop ?? A lso have you or greg ever tried rolling your plots after broadcasting the cover crop seed instead of raking to ensure good seed to ground contact ?

    Reply
  10. yLeprechaun Author

    It seems like you'd go no-till since you seem to be interested in soil. Tilling kills off at least 30% of microbials each time. Is there some trade off value?

    Reply
  11. gary CURD Author

    Hot over here in England high 90s maybe even a record you boys might be used to it but we sure aint just glad I got a pub full of beer cheers

    Reply
  12. Tom Slak Author

    Not many veggies that like the heat?
    Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beets, corn, beans etc. All these thrive in heat as long as they have enough WATER! Tomatoes and peppers NEED heat or they will be poor producers.
    Not much of a gardener if you don't know this!

    Reply
  13. Panther City Garden Author

    While you may be correct about the root systems of monocots and dicots being either fibrous or taprooted, that's NOT what the terms mean. Monocot means one cot- short for cotyledon and dicot means two cots. Meaning when they germinate, the monocot will sprout a single cotyledon and have veins running the length of the leaves. Dicots sprout multiple cotyledons and the veins run all over like ours. Just to clear up any confusion.

    Reply
  14. Paul Etheridge Author

    What if you save a few steps by first broadcasting then simply tilling in? I've done that with sunflowers, sudan grass and buckwheat. Works fine.

    Reply

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