Summer Squash Following Winter Rye With Strip and No-Till

Published Nov 30, 2015

In a Nutshell

Fruit and Vegetable farmers want to use cover crops to control weeds, which reduces labor costs and competition with cash crops. In tilled plots, two-foot wide strips of rye were incorporated prior to seeding. In no-till plots, summer squash was seeded into an overwintered stand of cereal rye that was scythed at maturity.

Key Findings

Squash yield (lb) and number of squash produced were greater in tilled plots than in no-till plots. Weeding the tilled plots took significantly more time during the first weeding of the season (July 8). Survival rate of seedlings was not different between treatments on July 1, but plant survival by Sept. 25 was 72% in the till plots compared to 50% in the no-till plots. • Average pounds of squash produced per plant were not significantly different between treatments.