Winter Rye, Secale cereale is an easy to grow and very reliable winter cover crop. It is hardy to temperatures as low as -30° F. Rye's rapid growth and deep roots hold soil in place so it is ideal in places where there are strong winds and a lot of precipitation. Because the root system is extensive, rye is good for soil tilth. It produces up to 10,000 pounds of dry matter (biomass) per acre.
Winter rye has allelopathic effects on weeds. Winter rye (also known as cereal rye) produces and exudes compounds through the root system that inhibit the germination and growth of weed seeds. Winter rye also smothers other plant growth due to mat and root density. It is an ideal cover crop for controlling weeds.
Plant in fall and turn under in early spring. Excellent in combination with legumes such as Hairy Vetch or Crimson Clover.
- Thrives in well-drained loamy soil, but it will tolerate heavy clay or sandy soil.
- Tolerates drought.
- Tolerates a wide range of soil pH - from very acidic (4.5) to very alkaline (8.0).
- Seldom needs additional nitrogen – easy to maintain.
.………Down to 33° ambient.
- Seed at 3 – 4 lbs per 1,000 square ft.
- Seed at 60 – 200 lbs per acre.
This is an excellent winter cover crop for: erosion control, improved soil tilth, improves spring/summer crop yields, use in no/low-till situations as a surface mulch, slows evaporation of soil moisture, increases organic matter in the soil and allows for better rainfall infiltration into soil.