Everything still looks great in the fields, albeit growing slowly due to the shortened days. We are at risk that many of the crops will get bitten back, maybe even killed, by a hard freeze soon as we haven’t had many cold nights yet. The weather may not slowly acclimate the plants to freezing temperatures – so be sure to enjoy these veggies while you can!!
However, though we aren’t growing greens here this winter, we are actively improving the soil and suppressing weed pressure by growing crimson clover (on the left) and annual ryegrass. Both of these cover crops add organic matter to the soil in the spring when they are tilled in and the ground is prepped for spring planting. Another benefit is that both crops have dense root systems that increase water infiltration into our soil and loosen up the clay. Clover “fixes” nitrogen from the atmosphere and puts it into the soil which will greatly decrease our need for organic fertilizers on our spring-planted vegetables. Beneficial insects are also attracted to crimson clover’s April blooms, and our thousands of honeybees absolutely love them!