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Thread: Cover Crop recommendations

  1. #1

    Cover Crop recommendations


    any recommendations for winter hardy 1 or 2 year cover crops that will catch and grow on wet ground in the scottish borders. I'm looking for a mix which providers shelter, food, and good rough-shooting cover crop for both partridge and pheasant. I'm thinking a mix of kale with something else, but not sure.

  2. #2
    We've used Kale & Quinoa in the past with good results, Kale gave good low cover & Quinoa a good seed head. We are now on Reed Canary Grass a perennial so lasts for years, no food value but very good cover.


    Life should be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving skidding in sideways, Merlot in one hand, Cigar in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO what a ride!

  3. #3
    elephant grass here ,lasts for years too no food value either but then i want the birds to eat my wheat !!!

  4. #4
    If you can get Kale to grow without the problems of flea beetle and club root and it establishes well enough then it will give great cover for up to 2 years. Its getting late on now to sow but a swift kale rape may still bolt given a warm September.
    After years of growing all sorts of wonderful mixes full of seed bearing plants ive come to the conclusion that no matter what the pheasants will still eat wheat and hardly bother with quinoa,millet, sorghum seeds etc.
    Most of my crops are now in as canary grass and now alot more chicory which has a super holding canopy and is perennial, it just needs a nurse crop like triticale in its first year. And as a plus point deer love chicory.
    Dont discount root crops like fodder beet either pheasants and partridge love it.

  5. #5
    We mix reed canary grass with the kale, it only grows to about 50cm the first year and after a few years its now about 6ft deep. Thats what was recommended to us as nothing else would really grow.

    Last edited by Stacey; 03-09-2011 at 16:55.

  6. #6
    We are trying artichokes in the "semi-desert" that is North Wales. Will be interesting to see how it does over a number of seasons.


  7. #7
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    We always had good results with corn on the cob that we left after it had ripened and then cut down and left it on the ground so that the birds had something that would hold them.

    You could also try small sheep fodder size turnips.

  8. #8
    i used kale and stipe of quinoa and sweet clover sweetclover puts nitrogen back in to the soil so the kale feeds of the extra nitrogen on the second year, sweet clover takes on the second year so mixing it with the quinoa gives cover for first year then second year it comes in to its own. after first year top the kale with a topper in about may that way it will grow back but wont goto seed if you mow it to early it willbolt and go to seed.
    i am using a kale /rape hybrid this year under sown with chicory and with reed canary grass as a wind break around the out side. looking good at the min but roll on next year when the chicory is sitting at 6 foot.

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