White Dutch Clover

Asked March 3, 2016, 1:16 PM EST

I am putting in a market garden and I am going "no-till".
My question is two-fold, If I go with living mulch, i.e. white dutch clover, will this plant significantly rob the soil of nutrients around the veges and herbs I am trying to grow and also, if anyone is using white dutch clover, do they have mice problems ?
Thank you for any help here.

Outside United States

1 Response

Annual cover crops, such as buckwheat, field rye, cowpeas and white dutch clover are the best choices for no-till gardening. These will significantly rob the soil of nutrients around the veges and herbs. They should be planted in the autumn and left in place over winter. Come spring, mow the cover crop as low as possible before it goes to seed and leave the clippings where they fall. Soon after mowing, add a 3- to 4-inch layer of organic matter. Wait three to four weeks before planting. They, however, can be left between rows to serve as pathways. The down-side I have encountered is the slow warm up in Spring.

As the health of the soil improves, its friability will increase and it will become easier to work. It took my garden about two years of complete no-till practices to reach its full potential. Now I relish each quiet spring, void of noisy rototillers and back-breaking hand digging. Instead, I have happy plants, billions of healthy soil microbes and a beautiful, productive garden.