Summer Cover Crop Trial Feb 2014 Week 2
After week 1 the weather was cooler, not many days over 30C. These tropical plants still grew noticeably. It made me wonder if I had, again, missed the boat for a real summer growth test ie planting anytime in Dec.
Clitoria ternatea is the scientific name. I just love to say it. Look it up to see why it is named so. It is a pity they will hardly flower enough to demonstrate it.
Amaranth, Love Lies Bleeding. Still a very small plant, but growing nicely. Unless they thrive in an earlier summer planting, I get the impression we would have to be keen to keep any amaranths in the mix, if for the sake of producing biomass.
Pearl millet. To be fair, since all millet seed is small, and some smaller than others, I reckon I sowed them too thickly, resulting in overcrowding, and not being a fair test to the growth potential. It may have been an overwatering issue, but some patches look a big Nitrogen hungry.
Pigeonpea are a skinny unimpressive plant, trying to grow tall. For all the size and number of seeds sown, few germinated, and my past history with them has me skeptical. But the seed is readily available, and popular globally, so still worth a shot.
Shiroie or Shirohie millet.
Sunnhemp. I don’t suppose we could ever get it to grow to the 2m height.
The mystery cv amaranth.
Mixtures, sown thickly.
And the other spots of mixtures. One got a ‘night watering’, one got overwatered, one underwatered with bore water and hence the salt was visible on the soil surface, resulting in stunted growth. In all the plots the wheat, even out of the direct chaff trail, came up like a brush, some I weeded, most I left for realism. It says a lot about chaff spreading (or burning) being the first step for no till cropping.
As I post this I have just taken pics of week 5, and have observations on the freshness of mixes vs monocultures. I also rejoice in not having lambs getting into the only green feed on the farm, and curse the long-toothed grumpy dumb alpaca who could get in to… well he reiterated some things I have heard before, and he heard things I am sure he has heard before. But that is for a later post.
The really good news is that the lambs by tomorrow morning should be on hooks somewhere, so apart from hares, the plot is safe.
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