Cover Crop Composting in Place

Today I began really cutting down the cover crop in my raised beds in the back. I cut the favas down towards the soil surface, but left their roots intact so as not to disturb the soil structure.

cutting-cover-crop

I opted to leave all the snails I could find in the bed so that they can help to break down all the fava that I cut and laid on the surface to compost in place in a “lasagna garden” fashion. I put some of the fava and also some arugula in my compost bin and put some snails in there as well to let them chomp and help break it down.
snails

Treating the nitrogen-fixing cover crop in this manner is time-intensive initially, but will help the soil maintain its structure and thus, will promote soil life and retention of moisture and nutrients. Snails are particularly good at processing the thick stalks of the fava, so are worth keeping around for that purpose, although I keep them away from my seedlings!

At the Bounty Farm demo garden, I am also doing some composting in place in my lasagna gardening raised bed (pictured below).


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This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 at 7:10 pm and is filed under Compost, Lasagna Gardening, Natural Fertilizers, Raised Beds, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.