- Hello Chris,
I looked at several ground covers/green mulches and you are right, red
clover does fix a bit more nitrogen into the soil than white clover. Berseem
clover does even more. You're also right about the growth. The red clover
can get up to three feet high while the white clover usually remains at a
sedate six to eight inches tall. Fukuoka recommends using white clover and I
finally decided to go along with his recommendation because of the relative
height differences. I'll be trying to grow veggie plants that don't get
three feet high. I suspect the red clover would be just too tall and
overpower them. I'm really interested in seeing how effective the clover is
as a "weed" control, but then with Fukuoka you have to change your concept
of just what a "weed" is, and start asking yourself if there even is such a
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----- Original Message -----
From: Chris Sawyer <css@...>
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2001 3:17 AM
Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming]
> I think that red clover, if my resources are correct will produce the most
> nutrients. It also has a root that can penetrate up to 8 feet. One must
> inoculate the seed to get the nitrogen fixation rate. I have used it for
> several years as our cover crop and now it is everywhere. It also grows
> than the white and works better at crowding out some weeds. Of course the
> perennial weeds will not be affected by most any attempts at smothering
> cover crops.
One thing you may not have realized that by plowing, the soil is
opened and turned enough so that weed seeds lying dormant (for
30+ years and more) suddenly see the light and spring for it.
occasionally I find I have to disc or plow a piece of ground that has
gotten 'hidebound' but usually, I try to avoid making any opening
cuts in it.
Or, as in Germany, they have realized that if they can cultivate
(plow, etc.) at night, and mulch or cover over the new dirt before
sun up, the weed seeds never germinate.
Mowing, on the other hand, will cut the top growth down, using it to
mulch the soil while the root system is left in place to act as a
barrier against erosion, and to help rot happen below ground.
Usually if you have grass and weeds and continue to just mow
them down, you'll have more grass and the weeds can't get a