Planting Timing After Raised Bed Cover Crop

Asked April 29, 2018, 7:46 PM EDT

I inherited a raised bed in a community garden that had an overwinter cover crop of some kind of grain and climbing bean. I just cut it down but I'm unsure what to do next. Because it's late in the season, I'm eager to get seeds and starts in the ground. Should I double dig the biomass into the soil? Or leave the cut biomass on top and try to seed without digging? Thanks!

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

Cover crops are a real boon to a garden, adding organic matter, and protecting the site from harsh winter weather. Your plot probably got great care in the past. In early spring you can just dig in a cover crop, but you need to wait 3 weeks before planting to allow for the organic material to decompose. Alternatively, you can move the mowed material to your compost pile and plant right away. It will be a great addition to your garden after it has decomposed. This article gives you more tips on using cover crops, Cover Crops for Home Gardens https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/fs304.pdf