Fertilizing is a little different...
When not utilizing a cover crop, you fertilization will look slightly different, but most of all, your weed control and maintenance will be much different.
- You are still recommended to apply Key To Life Hemp Dress between 1-3 times per growing season
- Your First application happens before the season begins, as the ground has begun to thaw and spring is onset.
- Since you have no nutrification from the winter from your over-winter cover crop, we recommend the high level of application (600-800 lbs/acre)
- Your second application which can be one of the most difficult to do, will be when the fruiting and flowering stage of the growth cycle has begun
- Again, since you are not getting nutrification from your in-between row cover crop, we recommend the high level of application (600-800 lbs/acre)
- Your only advantage here, is that it will be easier to utilize the broadcasting method of application when crops are not in the ground. This would be post-harvest before winter or early spring before plants are put in the ground.
- Your final application happens post harvest of your cash crop, at the end of the season
- Once again, since you are not going to be sequestering nutrient and biomass over the winter, we recommend the high application rate (600-800 lbs/acre)
- This is really the best time to apply any type of field Amendment. Especially when going for higher levels of biology, this allows the maximum inoculation time frame.
- Weed control is going to be you biggest hurdle when not utilizing cover crops, aside from the increased need in fertilization, loss of water, higher levels of field maintenance and less volumes of biology in your precious field.
- Growers on a small/medium sized scale usually employ manual labor to physically walk the rows and pull weeds by hand
- This is both extremely time consuming, and labor intensive
- Not to mention EXTREMELY expensive!!
- Growers on a large scale sometimes use row-running equipment with a small tiller on the back end to till in/chop down weeds
- This also requires specialized equipment, manual labor, time, and additional expenses for equipment and fuel
- This also requires a strict scheduling timeline before weeds grow up and cause problems for your main crop. This can also heavily depend on weather habits and choice of cover crop.
- We do NOT recommend spraying glyphosate, 24D & or any other chemical herbicides or harsh chemical pesticides and fungicides.
- This is not only potentially detrimental to your cash crop yield, but it absolutely decimates microbial/fungal life and diversity
- Not only that, but it un-conditions your soil, decreasing water/nutrient retention and healthy taxonomic diversity
- Over time, this actually “kills” the soil, making it completely unsuitable for agriculture
- This then requires expensive and time-consuming remediation with biological and carbon-based systems and products like biochar.
- The transition from this point to an organic farm has a minimum of 7 years as Regulatory Agencies suggest
As you can see utilizing a cover crop has many advantages especially when you are gardening organically. We must ensure the maximum usage of inputs into our fields through proper farming techniques, As well as the maximum retention and stability of valuable resources like water, environmental nitrogen, carbon, etc & preservation of microbial/ fungal & soil food web members. Cover crop is a big advantage when utilizing all natural resources in a biological system.
“Garden responsibly, because we did not inherit this planet from our parents, we are borrowing it from our children!”