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Cover crops explained
At the edible landscaping workshop, Ms. Maruskin also explained cover crops. Now, I have to admit I’ve never given this term much thought. I knew that farmers would often plant a crop during the fall to help cover during the winter and early summer but never stopped to wonder why. Cover crops are chosen because of their allelopathy. Rye, clover, sorghum, and vetch are a few that are commonly used. These plants produce chemicals that inhibit growth of other groups of plants. They truly help cover the tillable agricultural space as the seasons change. In addition to warding off potentially unwanted plant species, these cover crops also manage soil fertility/quality, water, pests, diseases, biodiversity, and wildlife.

Cover crops explained

At the edible landscaping workshop, Ms. Maruskin also explained cover crops. Now, I have to admit I’ve never given this term much thought. I knew that farmers would often plant a crop during the fall to help cover during the winter and early summer but never stopped to wonder why. Cover crops are chosen because of their allelopathy. Rye, clover, sorghum, and vetch are a few that are commonly used. These plants produce chemicals that inhibit growth of other groups of plants. They truly help cover the tillable agricultural space as the seasons change. In addition to warding off potentially unwanted plant species, these cover crops also manage soil fertility/quality, water, pests, diseases, biodiversity, and wildlife.

Walnut (Hickory) Family (Juglans spp.)
Walnuts require two trees to be close to one another in order to produce their mast. As mentioned earlier, black walnut trees are allelopathic. Black walnut contains a toxin called juglone. Its allelopathy wards off many other plant species. Planting near a black walnut tree should be avoided unless you are absolutely certain the juglone will not affect that particular plant species.
*photo courtesy of Norman G. Flaigg* 

Walnut (Hickory) Family (Juglans spp.)

Walnuts require two trees to be close to one another in order to produce their mast. As mentioned earlier, black walnut trees are allelopathic. Black walnut contains a toxin called juglone. Its allelopathy wards off many other plant species. Planting near a black walnut tree should be avoided unless you are absolutely certain the juglone will not affect that particular plant species.

*photo courtesy of Norman G. Flaigg
Maple spp. (Acer spp.)
Maple trees can be tapped for their syrup. Kentucky represents the southernmost fringe of the syrup industry. On average, it takes 40 gallons of sap to create approximately 1 gallon of syrup.
Maples do have mild allelopathic tendencies. Allelopathy, as mentioned in “9 Reasons Why You Should Consider Native Landscaping” post, is the suppression of growth of another plant or species because of a toxin released by a nearby plant or species.
If you want to spare yourself the mountain of work in creating maple syrup, you can actually consume another part of a maple tree. The helicopters! The seeds encased in the helicopters can be eaten raw. They can also be roasted. Some describe them as similar to soybeans while others explain they’re like green beans.
*photo courtesy of USDA*

Maple spp. (Acer spp.)

Maple trees can be tapped for their syrup. Kentucky represents the southernmost fringe of the syrup industry. On average, it takes 40 gallons of sap to create approximately 1 gallon of syrup.

Maples do have mild allelopathic tendencies. Allelopathy, as mentioned in “9 Reasons Why You Should Consider Native Landscaping” post, is the suppression of growth of another plant or species because of a toxin released by a nearby plant or species.

If you want to spare yourself the mountain of work in creating maple syrup, you can actually consume another part of a maple tree. The helicopters! The seeds encased in the helicopters can be eaten raw. They can also be roasted. Some describe them as similar to soybeans while others explain they’re like green beans.

*photo courtesy of USDA*