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cover crop / green manure, some questions

16 years ago

My garden currently has Austrian winter peas growing in it, intended for green manure. I turned up a shovel full of soil in several locations yesterday (areas that will be pathways this year), and tilth was good,loose & crumbly, with lots of earthworms. At this point, I would like to avoid tilling, but I'm not sure how to kill/incorporate the winter peas. Will mowing/weedwhacking kill the peas? Do I need to turn the vegetation into the soil to get any benefit, or can I leave it atop the soil? I'll be planting vegetables (corn, pole beans, cucumbers, melons, squash, potatoes) in ~4 weeks if the weather cooperates.

Also... I'm thinking of preparing a new bed for the sole purpose of growing a green manure that can be mowed & used as organic mattter in the vegetables beds. Does this concept have any merit? If so, what would you recommend? I'd want something perennial that could be mowed several times a year.

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