Winter rye experiment results due in soon

Winter rye getting tallWe will soon learn the results of an important experiment. We will find out whether planting winter rye last fall made our hard-packed clay soil any more workable. Most of the grass (pictured above when it was about two inches tall) is more than a foot and a half high now. It’s known for sending roots especially deep into the ground and loosening compact soil as it does.

We planted a strip about 100 feet long by eight feet wide. We need to mow it down and turn it in before it goes to seed. With no sign of flowers yet, we probably still have time. But presumably we do not have more than a couple of weeks.

If a space penetrates the earth below this grass, when we give it a try, it will open the possibility of creating new beds much more quickly than we have for the past four and a half years.

—Bill Stoneman

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