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Whatever you order - the maximum total postage and handling is only $9.95 but up to 100 small seed packets is only $5.95
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Barrel Medic   Cover Crop Kits   Lucerne   Pinto Peanut   Red Clover   White Clover   Wynn's Cassia  
Cover Crop and Living Mulch Seed

Cover crops provide a living carpet of perennial plants for orchards. A ‘living mulch’ of low-growing legumes can provide many advantages, especially compared to grass, which aggressively competes with your fruit trees for water and nutrients. Cover crops can:
  • suppress weeds without the use of herbicide,
  • protect valuable topsoil from wind and water erosion,
  • reduce compaction caused by frequent mowing,
  • increase organic matter, earthworms and beneficial micro-organisms,
  • increase the soil's available nitrogen and moisture retention,
  • bring deep minerals to the surface and break up hardpans,
  • provide habitat, nectar and pollen for beneficial insects and reduce populations of pests, and
  • Improve water, root and air penetration in the soil.
What is a Legume?
Legumes are plants such as clover, lucerne, peas, beans, medics and chickpeas. An important advantage of legumes is their unusual ability to obtain nitrogen, a major element needed for plant growth, from the soil air, as most plants are unable to do this. They do this by forming a symbiotic relationship with a group of bacteria called Rhizobium, which live within a specialised structure, called a nodule, on the plant's roots. The Rhizobia can take nitrogen (N2) from the air and convert it to the form plants normally obtain from the soil. This process is called nitrogen fixation.

Why Inoculate?
Rhizobia occur naturally, but they are very host-specific, that is, any one species of Rhizobia will only live with a few different types of legume. Consequently, when sowing legumes, the seed should be coated with a culture of the correct Rhizobium before sowing. This is referred to as inoculation. The bacteria are stored in peat, and as this is a living culture, it must be treated with care. It should be stored in the fridge and used within 3 months. To use, moisten the seed with a small amount of water and stir in the inoculant until seeds are coated. Then to allow even spreading of the seed over the seedbed, mix in enough agricultural lime, superfine lime or rock phosphate to dry the mixture out (use approx. 6 g of lime to 100 g of seed). This is called pelleting and makes fine seed easier to spread. Do not inoculate the seed until you are ready to sow it and do not leave the inoculated seed in the sun.

Planting Tips
  • Check the pH, legumes dislike acid soil,
  • correct any nutrient deficiencies (except nitrogen) before sowing,
  • cover the seed to a depth of 2-3 times the width of the seed and firm the soil,
  • irrigate in all but rainy weather for best results, and
  • it is important to select both summer and winter vigorous ground covers to reduce weed invasion.
Plant species should be selected for suitability to climate, ease of establishment, perennial habit, nitrogen-fixing capacity and shade tolerance. Avoid climbing legumes such as Lablab. Aim for a flowering meadow in your orchard rather than sterile, bare earth or a grass ground cover.

Getting Started
Growing a cover crop is particularly easy in new orchards as the soil can be cultivated. The seed is then spread as evenly over the area as possible followed by raking to cover the seed. In established orchards a variety of techniques may need to be used. Poultry in movable cages can be used to bare the ground, which is then sown with seed. Alternatively an organic herbicide can be used to kill any grass or an area can be mulched with newspaper and hay until the grass has died.

Find information on mulch here.
Find information on organic soil improvement here.
Our standard postage is $9.95 for all orders which includes Bulk Seed Packs. The $5.95 postage fee for up to 100 standard packets of seed, only includes the smaller 10m˛ packets not the 1000m˛ or 4500m˛ seed packs or kits.

Due to high postage fees there is a higher cost for bulk seed in some Australian States.
Barrel Medic
Medicago truncatula
A drought hardy, prostrate relative of lucerne, this is an annual legume that will self-seed every autumn to give winter cover in frost prone areas. The yellow flowers are borne on plants 40cm high. Each plant has prostrate stems that spread to approx 80 cm long. In temperate areas sow March-May or August-October; in subtropical areas sow May-July.

SB133 Inoculant included
SB134 (400g) Inoculant included
All kits include inoculant and a FREE fact sheet on cover crops.

Temperate Cover Crop Kits
SK112 contains Lucerne 'Sequel' (375g), Barrel Medic (150g), Red Clover (100g) and White Clover (100g) Not to WA
SK113 contains Lucerne 'Sequel' (1.5kg), Barrel Medic (600g), Red (400g) and White Clover (400g) Not to TAS or WA
Lucerne 'Sequel'
Not to WA
Medicago sativa
'Sequel' is a bushy upright, winter vigorous, legume with a deep taproot, it requires fertile, well-drained soil. It is attractive to beneficial insects and bees, can be cut for mulch and is a great animal forage. In temperate areas sow March-May or August-October; in subtropical areas sow May-July.

SL118 Inoculant included Not to WA
SL119 (1.5kg) Inoculant included Not to TAS or WA
Unsure how to use inoculant or its purpose? Find information about inoculant here.
Lucerne 'Hunter River'
Not to WA
Medicago sativa
'Hunter River' is a bushy upright, spring and summer vigorous legume with a deep taproot, it requires a fertile, well-drained soil. It is attractive to beneficial insects and bees, can be cut for mulch and is a great animal forage. In temperate areas sow March-May or August-October; in subtropical areas sow May-July.

SL120 Inoculant included Not to WA
SL121 (1.5kg) Inoculant included Not to TAS or WA
Pinto Peanut
Not to WA
Arachis pintoi
Excellent legume groundcover for orchards, Pinto forms a thick, luxuriant mat 20-30 cm deep, with attractive yellow pea flowers; it suits frost-free areas and is moderately tolerant of shade. Subtropical areas sow October-January; tropical areas sow during the wet season. More info on growing Pinto Peanut.

Sorry due to a crop failure no seed will be available in 2013.

SP126 Not to WA

Provided as tubestock
Not to Norfolk Island, SA, TAS or WA
GP152
Red Clover
Trifolium pratense
A summer vigorous, biennial legume for orchards; also useful as a green manure and bee forage. It has a bushy habit to 40 cm high and is drought tolerant. In temperate areas sow March-June or August-October; in subtropical areas sow May-July.

SR109 Inoculant included
SR110 (400g) Inoculant included
White Clover
Trifolium repens
A year round cover in temperate areas, also useful as a winter cover in the subtropics. It attracts parasitic wasps of aphids and scales and prefers moist, well-drained soil. It is intolerant of shade. In temperate areas sow March-June or August-October; in subtropical areas sow March-June or spring.

SW108 Inoculant included
SW109 (400g) Inoculant included
Wynn's Cassia
Cassia rotundifolia syn. Chamaecrista rotundifolia
A spring and summer vigorous, perennial legume to 40 cm high, it dies back in winter but self-sows prolifically. It is only suitable for subtropical and tropical areas, as it requires a summer rainfall to do well. It will recover from a light frost. In subtropical areas sow October-January; in tropical areas sow during the wet season. Wynn's cassia is not eaten by horses and is only moderately palatable to cattle.

SW110 Inoculant included
SW111 (200g) Inoculant included
Seed to WA: A $4.00 Quarantine Fee will be charged for all seed orders to WA. Green Harvest is sharing the cost of the new quarantine fee with all our WA customers. Read more...
Asian and Tropical Vegetables For Hot Wet Summers
If you are challenged by pest and disease problems in your vegetable garden during hot, humid summers, don’t give up! Green Harvest offers a range of vegetables, grown around the world in subtropical and tropical areas, that we have found to be hardy and reliable to the weather extremes of high temperature and humidity experienced in the ‘wet season’. As a general rule sow these vegetables from October through to March, to replace more temperate varieties. Seeds suitable for subtropical and tropical conditions are marked H for hot and humid!

Part of the problem is gardening books written by authors from cooler areas neglecting to give good advice on plant selection for northern areas of Australia. We recommend the books The Seed Savers Handbook or Organic Vegetable Gardening for the best information on subtropical vegetables.

HOW TO SHOP
Use the Minus Sign to subtract one and the Plus Sign to add one, to the quantity. Or simply type the number and hit enter. View your selection or complete your order hereCheckout Having trouble? Call Green Harvest on 1800 681014 Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm (EST) Queensland.
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DISCLAIMER:
We guarantee our seeds to the value of the purchase price. We are happy to replace the seeds, give you a credit or refund, whichever you prefer. Other than our guarantee to the extent of the purchase price Green Harvest gives no other warranty expressed or implied. No liability will be accepted by Green Harvest, its owners or employees as to the accuracy of any information. No responsibility will be taken for damage to property or persons due to information given about a product or technique. No responsibility will be taken for the loss of a crop or income due to information given about a product or technique.
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