Ryegrass – Garden soil

Q: I have a vegetable garden area which I’ve improved by adding compost, dead grass and leaves every fall and spring. This fall I sowed ryegrass and it is now five inches tall. How tall should it grow before I till it in to my vegetable garden soil?

A: The spring height will depend on how mild the winter is. If we are relatively warm and you wait until mid-March to chop and till the ryegrass, it may be a foot tall or more. The best schedule is to mow the rye, at whatever height, three weeks before you intend to plant your first seeds. Let the greenery dry for a week and then till it into your garden soil. That will give it a week to fully decompose and make the soil rich for your vegetable crop.

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