Organic No-Till Living Mulch Overview: Weed 'Em and Reap Part 2


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

System Overview

This cover crop I have here is most of my fertility and it’s going to provide the nutrients for next year’s crop. After harvest, we basically come through and mow everything down. In the spring, the compost is applied over the living mulch from the previous year, which is where the crop will go next year. Then I rip it with a modified potato cultivator. Then we make beds with the bed maker and there’s quite a bit of residue in the beds. If you were trying to plant directly into the bed without having the black plastic mulch, it would be very difficult, because there would be so much residue. We try to get the plastic on a couple of weeks before I transplant so that residue has a chance to break down within the bed. The clover recruits from last year and the newly-seeded living mulch start to come up. So about the time the transplants are eight to ten inches tall, we’re already getting cover. We try to make sure that soil is bare or uncovered for less than three to four weeks every year. Then the plants start to grow, we continue to irrigate the cover crop and drip irrigate the crop and there’s constant mowing of the residue.

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