Master Gardeners Bermuda Grass Mitigation Trial Update
The second phase of the Bermuda Grass Mitigation trial at the UCCE Master Gardener program Gardening Education Center (GEC) was completed on May 13th. The goal of this trial is to build soil structure utilizing cover crops, compost, and compost extract.
Last month the winter cover crop was chopped down and left to decompose and act as mulch where it lay on the ground. This month this mulch was raked to the edges of the plot where a warm season cover crop seed blend was planted. This crop contains seeds of Persian Clover, Berseem Clover, Common Vetch, Mung Bean, Red Lentils, White Wonder Millet, Annual Ryegrass, Spring Oats, Spring Triticale, Flax, Phacelia, Sunflower and Corn. The legumes had been pre-treated with rhizobia and a small amount of mycorrhiza was added to coat all of the seeds before broadcasting them. Compost extract was then made using highly microbe active compost created by Alane Weber and the seeds and soil were watered with the extract. Lastly the plot was covered with ½ inch of compost.
As an added bonus the mounds of mulch raked to the plot edges were covered with some soil and planted with pumpkin seedlings, corn, sunflower and wildflower seeds then topped dressed with compost extract and compost. It will be exciting to watch this modified Hugelkultur raised bed flourish!
Read more about the Bermuda Grass Mitigation Project here.