Row by Row Episode 62: Bet You Didn’t Know Cover Crops Could Do This!

Question & Answers Segment

On this week’s episode, the guys answer viewer questions about a couple of different cover crops grown in the vegetable garden. The first question is trying to determine if growing Austrian Pea for the honeybee population in the garden is good or not. Greg mentions that the Austrian pea is a wintertime pea so it can extend the season but it would not be his first choice for pollinators. The second question is all about the guy’s thoughts about allelopathic plants. For example, allelopathic qualities of cover crops such as peas or vetch help with nutgrass problems. While Buckwheat is allelopathic to pigweed. Thirdly, the guys discuss the issues causing deformation in melons. Greg explains the two main causes of deformation in melons is due to infrequent watering and poor pollination. Next, they discuss various vegetables that work best when planted on drip tape irrigation. Travis mentions that he uses his drip tape on almost everything except Irish potatoes. Using drip tape will save you time, conserve water, and reduce weed pressures greatly. Recently the guys talked about figs that have a closed-end and keeps the bugs out. Due to some research that LSU has done in the past, this type of fig variety is called the LSU Purple variety. The guys then discuss whether the silage tarps control nutsedge or not. Travis explains the silage tarps will help the nutsedge a little bit but not like the other weeds. You basically just have to aggravate the soil with the Wheel Hoe or incorporate some cover crops like Austrian pea into the garden. Next, the guys talk about how heavy silage tarps are and ordering bigger tarps. Greg says the silage tarps weigh about 60 pounds and are heavy depending on your size. It can be carried by one person but it’s more ideal for two people. When discussing fig trees Greg recommends planting fruit trees in the fall because it gives them a chance to get started without stressing. He also says amending the soil before planting and keeping it watered will help the fig trees as well. Then, they discuss the most productive pepper variety in the garden. The Aruba Cubanelle peppers are a hybrid variety that is the front runner in maximum yield when it comes to all the other pepper varieties we carry. The next question deals with how to treat Japanese beetle damage on flowers and vegetables. Greg says rotating between Neem Oil and Pyrtherin early on and keeping the garden clean will help control those pest issues. The last question that the guy’s answer is for new garden spots whether or not you should add a tarp first then grow a cover crop or grow a cover crop then tarp. Travis explains if you have a way of cleaning or tilling the garden spot to prepare it to plant cover crops then tarp. However, if you don’t have a tiller or a way to clean the garden area tarp it during the summer and plant fall cover crops.

Show and Tell Segment

On the show and tell segment, with the summer weather getting hotter and hotter the guys discuss a couple of different hot pepper varieties such as the Serrano, Cayenne, and Brazilian Orchid. Greg is about done growing for this season. However, he still has a few sunflower and zinnia varieties planted that have been the prettiest crop thus far in the garden. The only vegetable producing he has going on in the garden is okra. The guys are both in the cleanup phase to prepare it for fall planting season. The guys also talk a little bit about the seed line up coming out soon.

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