Copperbaron's Journal: Turning under winter rye

  • Member: Copperbaron
  • Journal: Vegetable garden
  • Category: Garden management: Winter 2002
  • Status: 2002

Initial Notes:

My trials and tribulation trying to run under my winter rye cover. First, I tried to turn it under with a fork - what was I even thinking of. Then I tried to till it under using my Mantis tiller (which I love, by the way, but only if the ground is already well prepared). Complete disaster - thoroughly clogged the blades and could barely cut through the roots. Next I tried to use a shovel to turn it in, but the grass blades were too long to completely bury and the root mass would probably just allow it to keep on growing.

Realized I would have to cut the grass before attempting anything further, but I couldn't use a weed eater as I would spray the grass blades everwhere except in the bed, which was the whole reason for planting the cover crop in the first place. So, I tried using my manual hedge clippers, which worked, but I was getting nowhere fast.

I then tried using my electric hedge clippers. Much better - would probably go a lot faster if I didn't have the dinkiest electric hedge clippers around, but I'm not going to spend a lot of money on something I'll only use once. Once I get all the beds clipped, I'll go back and try it once more with my Mantis. If it still clogs, then it looks like I'll have to manually dig it and turn it under. There has got to be a better way.

Entries and Updates

  Feb 9, 2002  
The results of trying to turn the rye under with a garden fork, the Mantis tiller, my shovel, cutting the rye with manual garden shears, and finally cutting it with electric shears.

Thumbnail of Turning under winter rye

  Mar 4, 2002  
Having mowed the rye with my hedge clippers and had it grow right back, I have started pulling it up by hand. It works, but it's going to take a while. There still has to be a better way.

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