Winter Cover Crop & Vermicompost

Today I was able to get a cover crop planted.  I felt the timing was perfect because it sprinkled last night which moistened the soil; it was easy to turn.  It’s scheduled to rain again on Tuesday and next weekend so that will activate the seeds.  We’ve already had a one week torrential downpour of 13 inches.  I bought 4.5 lbs of fava beans and 2.5 lbs of bell beans.  Next year, I’ll remember to get more so I can include the outdoor chicken run.  I’d like to get some cuttings of Russian Comfrey for the chickens.  About a month ago, I did all the garden clean up, so this was only a few hours of work.


The steps are so easy: moving back the old hay and turning the soil.  Sprinkling the seeds and then churning them in.  Because the soil is a year-old – composted horse manure and straw, it is a perfectly blended, rich humus.


During this garden prep, I decided to empty a couple of the worm bins to make space for more food scraps.  The castings were ready for the garden after about 5 months of vermicomposting.  I dug through the castings wearing a glove and tried to pick out as many worms as possible to save them for the worm bins.

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I emptied the castings around two fruit trees.  Then, I covered the soil and worms with gorilla fur.


The final step was grabbing an old straw bale from the chicken coop and covering the garden beds.  I like using up the old chicken straw every year which is full of poop (nitrogen) and then buying them fresh straw bales to sit on.  This was easy to do in the dark, had to finish.


Normally, the seeds should be watered to wake them up, but Tuesday’s rain will take care of it.  The garden is now ready for winter!

About lovecreekfarm

2.5 acre permaculture with heritage orchard, organic gardens, redwood forest, and riparian corridor along Love Creek at the base of Ben Lomond mountain, San Lorenzo Valley, Santa Cruz County.
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