Cowpeas for cover crop? My method?

June 30, 2010

I'm thinking of sowing some cowpeas in a garden that just got the gravel (previous owners idea of landscaping, lol!) removed. As with the rest of my rock removing projects, this has been a long and torturous job. Thank God for a step-son and buddy who are working off their room/board!

My idea for this area, since it's too hot to plant and will take awhile to get enough mulch/ yard shredding for enough OM, is to sow some black eyed, bulk purchased peas from the grocery store. Problem is, how do I go about "drilling" this amount of seed into hard-pack clay? Would hoeing a bunch of shallow trenches work?

Hoping to get enough OM from the peas to till into the ground this fall, before planting my garlic and winter crops. I don't have a tiller, so will have to rent at this point.

So far, Ive just been dumping huge quantities of compost on top of the hard clay in my other gardens, not tilling or mixing at all. Basically, doing a raised bed on top of the ground, hoping the soil will eventually loosen and improve. I decided to try tilling a green manure crop into this new space, hoping for better drainage and improved results.

Before planting the peas I'm planning on spreading some soil sulpher, ironite and gypsum.

Anyway, could use advice on this sowing and soil improvement project.

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