56 days. This hardworking combination of field peas and hulled oats is a legume and grass cover crop that quickly benefits the soil with nutrients and green matter, while helping suppress weeds. A great cover crop for established gardens, the mix is also perfect for improving areas being turned into gardens such as lawns and vacant lots.
Pea plants fix nitrogen and condition the topsoil while the pea flowers attract bees and other beneficial insects. As an added benefit the young pea shoots and tendrils are edible and can be used in salads or as a soup topping. Oats hold nitrogen, provide green matter and provide support for the pea vines.
Soil Builder is best planted as a fall cover crop but can also be grown in spring. When planted in the fall, the oats and peas benefit from the cool weather but are killed by the cold temperatures of winter and won’t regrow in the spring. The dead plant material provides a wonderful winter mulch that helps prevent soil erosion and is ready to be tilled into the garden as soon as soil can be worked in the spring.
This packet sows 50 square feet (5' x 10' planting area).
When to sow outside: Fall: 6 to 8 weeks before first fall frost. Spring: As soon as soil can be worked and soil temperature is around 40°F.
When to start inside: Not applicable.
Special germination instructions: Easy to grow from seed.
Artist: Donna Clement