random backyard pics 002I would love to pretend that winter isn’t approaching, but the days of self-deception are gone for this boy.  Living in western Washington means the rains are hanging out above the Pacific Ocean just waiting for the right moment to unleash on us.  If the weather forecasters are correct about El Nino, this will be one wet winter for us in Olympia, and that means I have winter preparations that need to be completed in the next month.

The tool shed was dismantled, improved and rebuilt in a different location, so that’s out of the way.  The aviaries have a thick layer of straw laid down, and they have been made as waterproof as we are likely to make them.

Another project I need to complete soon is the laying of a winter cover crop.


The purpose of a cover crop is to continue to nourish your garden during the winter months.  They protect the soil from damaging winter weather rains that can wash away nutrients.  The cover crop roots will provide habitat for soil microbes and worms, and when chopped up and left to decompose in the spring, they will provide nutrients and organic matter for your spring and summer vegetables.

So I need to get busy.


Depending on where you are, consider one or more of the following:  Oats, winter rye, winter wheat, winter peas, or crimson clover.  Check with a local nursery for the best in your area.


After the fall harvest, turn your soil over and then sprinkle seeds on your garden area.  Rake them into the ground so the birds can’t steal them.

Then sit back and wait for nature to do its thing.


I mentioned last week that one of our rabbits escaped from the aviary. Well, I was out last night, checking the backyard to make sure all was well, and another of our rabbits hopped over to me…probably just wanted to wish me good night.  There is nothing I love more than filling in holes, in the dark, late at night….NOT!!!!!town_429

Here’s the bottom line, and it’s one my dad would approve of: if you’re going to do a job, do it well the first damned time.

Guess what I’m doing Saturday (today)….that’s right….I’m doing the job right.



8 thoughts on “Planting Cover Crops this Winter

  1. This is truly timely information. I keep hearing that I should plant these things, but no one ever explained why. I continue to be fascinated by gardening. Nothing is for nothing. There is a reason for everything we do in the garden.


  2. Thanks for multipurpose notification dear friend writer / farmer/ gardener. Being reminded what we supposedly ‘ know’ serves as a timely check-up of what has been omitted, while needed to be done.
    ( I will begin to ‘winterize’ some of geranium for cultivation ( extra brain-curriculum) having ready for my own outdoor flowers when time comes..)


  3. Big Bro, I think you might have found a second calling as an urban farmer. I mean look at this blog! It’s splattered with so many wonderful things: amazing writing, good gardening tips, news about El Niño. Haha!


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