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Old May 27, 2009   #16
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: PNW
Posts: 4,750

PS: A little WWW research indicates that keeping mycorrhizae
alive on cover crop roots over a winter should work pretty well.

I did not find a simple list of which cover crops support
mycorrhizae and which do not, but grains like winter rye,
winter wheat, spring oats, and so on and legumes like vetch,
alfalfa, bell beans, clovers, peas, etc all seem to be mycorrhizae
compatible (mycorrhizae will thrive on their roots).

Buckwheat, while a pretty good early spring or late summer
cover crop, is not a mycorrhizal species, and brassicas
(like mustard, radishes, etc) also do not support mycorrhizae
on their roots.

So, in theory, one could inoculate a garden, grow a winter cover
crop of, say, winter rye and hairy vetch (popular in places with
cold winters that tend to not have nematode problems), and the
mycorrhizae should still be there by the time the next summer's
crop is planted. The same would be true of clovers, winter peas,
oats, and so on in warmer places that need winter cover crops
that are not nematode-friendly.

(Some places need to balance the benefits of mycorrhizae
against the need to repress other pests in the soil, and growing
a mustard or radish cover crop might still be a win if it gets rid
of something that hurts production worse than the lack of
support for mycorrhizae does.)
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