Weed 'Em and Reap Part 2: Reduced tillage strategies for vegetable cropping systems [DVD]. A. Stone. 2006. Oregon State University Dept. of Horticulture. Corvallis, Oregon. Available at: (verified 17 Dec 2008).


Helen Atthowe, BioDesign Farm. Stevensville, MT.

Audio Text

Habitat for Beneficials

After quite a bit of study in 1995 and ’96, we found that because the living mulch has very close proximity to the crop, in other words, for every row of crop, there is a row of living mulch, we don’t diminish the beneficial or the pollinator insect populations when we mow. Also, as crops finish, like this broccoli here, we let it go to flower and seed and it provides more habitat for beneficial insects. And remember, one of the things that we’ve found is that it’s not just the flowering, the pollen and nectar source, that our parasitic wasps, and our syrphid flies and many of our other predator and parasites need. They also need the cover and even mowing maintains quite a bit of cover. One of the predators that needs this cover the most is ground beetles, carabid beetles. Also spiders require this cover. We found significant increases in the population of those kinds of predators by doing this mowing and leaving the residue on the surface.

Organic No-Till Living Mulch Beneficials: Weed Em and Reap