So I just tilled my front lawn and I am planning on planting some seed and having a nice green front lawn. I'm sure I am not the first one to think of this but I would like to plant some kind of cover crop as my lawn. My logic is every time I mow my lawn I will have rich compost and it will be making the soil nice and full of nutrients. So my question is what crop should I plant? I was thinking some grain like rye, but I am open to any suggestions of any kind.
By the way I am planning on picking up some seed today and planting so let me know soon. Thanks
I would recommend planting a regular perennial grass and a legume such as white clover. The clover will fix nitrogen for itself (plus some extra for the grass). The important thing is keeping the grass healthy by mowing no shorter than 2 1/2 to 3 inches.
Posts: 301 | Location: N. Illinois, Zone 5 | Registered: April 22, 2011
The Rye you are thinking of, Winter Rye, Field Rye, or Cereal Rye, is an annual and once you mow it the plants will die off. You can acheive the same results of adding organic matter to your soil by mulch mowing which ever turf grass you decide on, recycling the grass clippings right there. That can also supply up to 1/2 the annual Nitrogen needs of that turf grass which would need about 2 pounds of N per 1,000 square feet. Check with your local University of California Cooperative Extension Service office for what their research has found is a good turf grass for northern California.
The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
Posts: 5180 | Location: Central Michigan along the Lakeshore | Registered: August 28, 2004
I'm late to the party but there is perennial rye grass...mostly used for pastures. And like brown said, it won't look all that pretty when mowed. Find out what your native perennial grasses are & if they will work for your idea. Call your local county extension office & talk to them about your idea...see what they say.
I don't really care about looks so much. I just want to grow rich organic matter for my compost heap is my main goal.
I would also like some variety to my front lawn so I am thinking maybe perennial rye grass and something else.
I actually decided to hold off on putting the seed down for a little while. The rainy season starts in about a month and it would cost a pretty penny to keep out front yard watered everyday. So I am going to take more time to think of what to grow. Thanks for the suggestions and ideas.
If your main goal is rich organic matter....think about clover of any kind that will grow in your area & even annual alfalfa. I'm also thinking other hay type crops like timathy (sp?). Check out some other pasture grasses that are used in your area...the farmers are going to put into their hay & pastures the things that will give them the best nutrients for their animals...which should make it a rich organic materials.
Still call your county extension & talk to your agent there...or even some Master Gardeners in your area who might have experience with this.
Your idea really sounds interesting to me...we have a LOT to mow & this might be something we need to think about too!