Autumn Jubilee Cover Crop Mixture

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Ujamaa's Autumn Jubilee Cover Crop Mixture includes a mix of winter rye (27%), common oats (27%), field peas (27%), ecotil radish (8%), crimson clover (7%), and tender green mustard (3%) which offers numerous agricultural and environmental benefits:
  1. Soil Health Improvement: This mix contributes to soil health in several ways. Winter rye and common oats have deep root systems that can help break up compacted soil, improving soil structure and aeration. The roots of these plants also help in the retention of soil and nutrients, preventing erosion.

  2. Nitrogen Fixation and Nutrient Recycling: Legumes like field peas and crimson clover are known for their ability to fix nitrogen from the air and enrich the soil with this essential nutrient. This reduces the need for chemical fertilizers. The diverse root systems of the mix also assist in recycling other nutrients like phosphorus and potassium, making them more available to future crops.

  3. Weed Suppression: The dense growth of these crops can effectively suppress weeds by outcompeting them for light, space, and nutrients. This can reduce the reliance on herbicides.

  4. Pest and Disease Control: A diverse cover crop mix can help break pest and disease cycles. Certain species like radishes and mustards are known to have biofumigant properties, which can reduce soil-borne pests and diseases.

  5. Enhancing Soil Microbial Activity: The varied root exudates from this mix of plants can stimulate and support a diverse soil microbial community. This is beneficial for soil health and nutrient cycling.

  6. Biomass Production: These plants can produce a significant amount of biomass, which, when decomposed, adds organic matter to the soil. This improves soil structure, water retention, and fertility.

  7. Attracting Beneficial Insects: Flowers from plants like crimson clover and mustard can attract pollinators and beneficial insects, which are important for ecosystem health and can help in controlling pest populations.

  8. Cover During Off-Season: Planting a cover crop during fallow periods helps to protect the soil from erosion and nutrient loss due to rain or wind.

  9. Climate Resilience: Cover crops can improve the soil's water-holding capacity, making the land more resilient to drought and extreme weather events.

In summary, this diverse cover crop mix not only improves soil health and fertility but also contributes to sustainable and environmentally friendly farming practices.


Sowing cover crops is an essential practice in agriculture and gardening for various reasons, such as soil improvement, weed control, erosion prevention, and nutrient management. The process of sowing cover crops involves several steps:

  1. Prepare the Soil: Before sowing cover crops, prepare the soil by removing debris, weeds, and any previous crop residues. You can use a garden tiller or cultivate the soil with hand tools to create a clean and level planting bed.

  2. Sowing Method:

    a. Broadcast Seeding: This is a common method for sowing cover crops. Simply scatter the seeds evenly over the prepared soil surface. You can do this by hand or use a broadcast seeder for more uniform coverage.

    b. Drill Seeding: If you have access to a seed drill or planter, use it for precision seeding. Seed drills create rows of cover crop seeds at the desired depth.

    c. Row Planting: In some cases, you may want to plant cover crops in rows. Create furrows in the soil using a hoe or plow, then place the seeds at the recommended spacing within the furrows.

  3. Seed Depth: Follow the recommended seed depth guidelines for the specific cover crop you are sowing. Typically, cover crop seeds are planted at a depth of 1/4 to 1 inch, but this can vary depending on the crop.

  4. Seed Rate: Calculate the appropriate seed rate based on your desired coverage and the seed's recommended seeding rate per square foot or acre. It's crucial not to over-seed or under-seed to achieve the desired results.

  5. Covering the Seeds: Lightly cover the seeds with soil. You can use a rake or a cultipacker to ensure good seed-to-soil contact. For some cover crops, especially small-seeded varieties, you may skip this step and rely on natural rainfall to cover the seeds.

  6. Watering: After sowing, water the area thoroughly to help the seeds germinate. Keep the soil consistently moist until the cover crop is established.

  7. Maintenance: Monitor the cover crop's growth and address any weed issues as they arise. Depending on the cover crop and your goals, you may need to mow or terminate the cover crop before it goes to seed to prevent self-seeding and to allow for easier incorporation into the soil.

Remember that cover crop selection and timing are crucial factors in achieving your specific goals, whether it's improving soil fertility, suppressing weeds, or managing erosion. Be sure to research and plan accordingly for the best results in your particular gardening or farming