Search OSU Extension

Showing 1 - 10 of 25 results.

Instead of leaving soil naked, coat it with cover crops

Grow "green manure" to keep soil from eroding, weeds from exploding and to add nutrients.

Kym Pokorny | Jul 27, 2018 | News Story

What is a good soil mix for blueberries?

Q: I will be planting blueberries in 18 inch tall 4x8 raised beds. I plan to use this as my basic soil: (pH 6-6.5) 30% Native Screened Sandy Loam 40% Garden Compost 5% Power Mulch 5% Mushroom Compost 20% Horticultural Pumice. How can I transform this basic soil to make it perfect for blueberries? I am thinking of taking the basic soil and combining it with equal parts...

A: View answer | View all featured questions

Buckwheat makes a good summer cover crop for gardens

Need a summer cover crop to add nutrients to your garden's soil? Try planting buckwheat.

Jul 18, 2014 | News Story

Soil Improvement and Cover Crop Resources for Small Farms

Even though different soils have some properties that cannot be changed, such as texture, soil quality can be improved by implementing good management strategies. Soils can be improved for water holding capacity, drainage, structure, and even the ability for plant roots to penetrate through the soil.

Apr 2018 | Collection

Compost for blueberry plants: testing and tips

Compost is an acceptable amendment for blueberry plants, but it's important to test it before you apply it. Pay attention to pH and nutrient levels, and watch out for weeds.

Dan Sullivan | Mar 2015 | Article

Function & Selection of Cover Crops

When selecting a cover crop for a particular field, keep the end in mind. How does the crop need to function? Are you in need of a permanent crop like grass to stabilize soil and reduce erosion? Or perhaps you’re looking for a crop to increase soil organic matter and supply a nitrogen source in the winter, between cash crops? Maybe you need a summer cover crop ...

Melissa Fery | Dec 2009 | Article

Establishing Winter Cover Crops

In theory cover crops can protect soil from erosion, improve soil tilth, supply nitrogen (N), reduce weeds, provide nectar and pollen for beneficial insects, increase the winter survival of mycorrhyza, help to manage soil-borne diseases, and provide other benefits. In practice, it’s often difficult to establish cover crops in commercial rotations well enough to produce enough ground...

Nick Andrews | Jan 2011 | Article

Exploring Cover Crops in Central Oregon

Cover crops receive a lot of attention for the many benefits they can provide, such as: weed suppression, erosion prevention, improved water infiltration and water holding capacity, improved nutrient cycling, and the creation of pollinator habitat. There is an abundance of information in academic literature and from seed companies on the use of cover crops; however, there is only...

Clare Sullivan | Dec 2018 | Article

Estimating Nitrogen from Cover Crops, Part 2

Cover crops are widely used to reduce soil erosion and increase soil organic matter. When legumes are included in the seed mixture, the cover crop can provide a lot of nitrogen (N) and reduce the need for fertilizer. The N content of cover crop stands varies widely (figure 1), and we don’t currently have a reliable method for estimating the nitrogen value of the ...

Nick Andrews | Dec 2009 | Article

Relay Seeding Cover Crops in Fall and Winter Harvested Vegetables

Lots of vegetable crops (i.e. winter squash, some brassicas, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants, etc.) are harvested late.  This makes it difficult to establish over-wintering cover crops after harvest. On many farms, these fields are left bare over the winter. Sometimes there are opportunities to establish cover crops by relay seeding (inter-seeding) them into established vegetable ...

Nick Andrews | Jul 2014 | Article