cover crop yes or no?

have pulled up all my onions and beets...should I put cover crop there? If yes what should I plant? I am in Michigan zone 5.....I have access to large amount of Oak leaves would it be better to wait a while till leaves fall then shread and till into soil? are Oak leaves to acidic?
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Can't tell you about what to do in your area about a cover crop, but I certainly wouldn't advise tilling in leaves. Shredding them and leaving them on the top of a bed overwinter: yes, but shredding and tilling: no.
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snipped-for-privacy@FtBaxter.net wrote:

Your local nursery probably has a mix of seeds called "green manure". That would probably be your best bet. However, if you just want to loosen the soil, rye, and buckwheat are you best bets. For nitrogen; clover, or legumes. Wait for plants to get some height, or die back before adding oak leaves. Best not to till anything.
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snipped-for-privacy@FtBaxter.net wrote:

Anything is better than bare earth. Grow a crop of some sort preferably even if you til it in otherwise mulch.
David
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I am in Michigan also. I pulled up my potatoes and beets yesterday. I am going to put in leaf lettuce and radishes in the hope of a late frost. I know it is late in the season, however, i will also put baby pan pumpkins or extra winter squash, just incase the warm summer is extended. My tree leaves are still green.
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snipped-for-privacy@FtBaxter.net wrote:

Oak leaves are very acidic and they take a very long time to decompose. I'd compost them before using and make sure they had some lime and nitrogen to help balance the pH.
We used to plant annual ryegrass as a cover in New England, then till it in very well in the spring.
gp
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Composting isn't a bad idea, but the oak leaves won't affect the pH of your soil. Use them as mulch. Typically, I'll try to grow some kind of cover crop. Six weeks before planting, I'll cut down my cover crop, add any amendments (N-P-K) by spreading them on the ground, cover with newspaper, and then cover all with mulch. Oak leaves would make a fine mulch. When you plant, pull back the mulch a little bit. Make a hole with a dibble, and plant. The oak leaves will keep the earthworms happy, who, in return, will keep everybody else happy. Not digging leaves the corridors that the earthworms dig in place, to be used as habitat by bacteria, amoebas, and fungi, as well as providing channels for draining and aeration.
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snipped-for-privacy@FtBaxter.net wrote:

I'm in NY zone 5. People here who grow onions, garlic, and shallots put in next years crop only a couple of months after harvesting the present crop. There's no need or time for a cover crop. I don't see any home vegetable gardeners who plant a cover crop. Most place a mulch over winter, even for onions a thick layer of hay is laid down over the freshly planted plot with plastic deer fence staked down to hold the hay through winter.
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Garlic
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Last spring, we had 80?F temps, and then we descended back into what we call winter. Last year the cover crop worked, sometimes it doesn't.
However the request was about a cover crop, and if it was a good idea.
So don't you worry that jumbled little brain of yours any more. Everything is fine, and I think I hear your bottle calling you.
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wrote:

It's been my experience that if oak leaves are shredded and put on beds, they break down quite quickly. Worms seem to love oak leaves for some reason. It might relate to climate (here we get hard frosts but no snow) so in the spring, there is only a thin layer of leaves on the top that have still not decomposed.
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