Maryland Grows


Starting a compost pile and planting cover crops – winding down the vegetable garden for the year

Bin with waste inside

After a fun year of building support structures and growing really long squash, it was time to wind down the garden. Our first baby was born (thank you, thank you), and we had no further bandwidth or ambition to continue…

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Beyond dead dirt: healthy soil is alive

This post is modified from an article originally published in The Delmarva Farmer (2/13/2018) Most people would probably be surprised to know that bacterial cells outnumber human cells in our bodies by 10-to-1 and that just one teaspoon of healthy…

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World Soil Day – and a reminder to cover your soil

Today is World Soil Day as declared by the United Nations General Assembly. So I hope you’ve spent some time thinking about how vital good soil is to our gardens, our agriculture, and our planet. Soil rocks! Also, soil… humuses. Um….

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Here grow the cover crops

I love seeing the early April greening of my fall-planted cover crops. I’m happy knowing that the rye, crimson clover, and hairy vetch plants (about 8-inches high right now) perform multiple functions: add organic matter, nitrogen fixation, improve soil structure,…

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Cover Crop Comparison

I took some photos a few weeks ago of  cover crops I planted mid-September. Barley is a cereal grass that is less winter-hardy than cereal rye but usually survives Central MD winter weather. Not this year. And oats are more…

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Cover crop seeds hold firm in 5+ inches of rain

 I planted barley, oat, and rye seed on October 6 for fall/winter cover crops. It was good to know that rain was expected the following week but I may have postponed my cover crop plans if I knew it would…

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Crimson clover and barley cover crops

I like growing cover crops to improve and protect garden soil. Dealing with a winter cover crop that has resumed vigorous spring growth can be a challenge. Here’s a bed of barley (planted mid-September) that I covered in mid-April with…

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