September 22, 2017

Winter Rye as Cover Crop

In the past, we have used landscape fabric as weed control in between the strawberry rows.  This method was an excellent means of controlling weeds, but expensive and not environmentally friendly (uses a lot of plastic).  Since then we have sown winter rye in between the rows right after planting.  There are many cover crops you can use to control weeds in between any crop; but, many of them are host to the tarnish plant bug which injures strawberry fruit.  The winter rye is not a host.

We maintain the winter rye by mowing with a push mulching mower once a week.  With consistent mowing, winter rye will naturally suppress itself and not grow as vigorously as seen here.

Winter rye as a cover crop between strawberry rows.