Cover Crops Seed

Cover Crops — Seed Source

I found an opportunity to save money on ordering Cover Crops (especially oats, winter rye, and field peas) and I wanted to pass it along. Time may be important in taking advantage of this opportunity — so be sure to check this out as soon as you can rather than waiting a month or two.  That may be too late.  I’m not sure. (I’ll tell you why in a minute.)

A Seed catalog from Fedco came yesterday.  I’ve wanted to order from them for sometime, but find it very difficult to navigate their website.  After a certain amount of time spent trying, I usually figure I’m better off to order from someone else rather than spend all day trying to figure out how to navigate the Fedco site. (Could be just me.)

The first thing I checked in the Fedco catalog was cover crop seed. (Previously I’ve ordered cover crop seed from PineTree because they had about the best prices I’d seen.)  I was impressed with Fedco.  They even have fava beans and sudangrass which are sometimes hard to find. And a nice selection of the clovers as well.

My favorite covers are buckwheat, oats, winter rye, and field peas.  If you’ve ordered these before you know that winter rye can be pretty expensive.  But sometimes you want it for a job that the others can’t do.  (I’ll be writing about that in the future.)

Briefly — here are my findings comparing Fedco to Pinetree — using basically the 25 pound amount. (Pinetree sells in lesser quantities which can be a great benefit if you don’t need much.)

  • Field Peas (OG) are almost half the price.
  • Buckwheat (OG) (called Japanese Buckwheat at Fedco) is just a little cheaper at Fedco.
  • Oats (OG) (called Jerry Oats at Fedco) way less than half the price of oats at Pinetree.  (There is another oats with higher food value that is still about $14 cheaper than Pinetree for 30 pounds.)
  • Winter Rye (OG) is half the price.

Why it might be important to order soon.

Fedco has a notice on the cover crop page (p.121 in my catalog) that says:

Because of the drought in the Midwest, the cost of seed and grain rose sharply, and continued uncertainty will push it up farther.  We will make every effort to honor the prices published in the catalog, but if we have to purchase additional inventory we will adjust prices accordingly. We post current prices on our website,  Or call 207-426-9900 if you have questions

If you have trouble with their website like I do — call right away for a catalog — 207-426-9900.

Also, be sure to read all the information on shipping.  Regular seed orders get free shipping, but cover crop shipping can be hefty.  You have to weigh all this out to see if you will really save by buying from Fedco.  I know Pinetree shipping is much more reasonable.

Hope you’ll find this helpful.

Organic Gardening is easy, efficient, effective —– and it’s a lot healthier.
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  • I finished planting my cover crops of winter rye, field beans and phacelia in time, and they are prospering prior to our December frosts. Here in Europe the seed for winter rye is quite cheap because we can purchase it at the cooperative. I sowed 3 kilograms for a little over two Euro, which certainly isn’t expensive. Unfortunately, phacelia has become quite expensive because many magazines and garden columns have been writing about it.

  • Nope, it’s not just you having trouble with their website, Theresa! I received a catalog from them for the first time this year and will definitely use it to order from! Thanks for your research into comparative cover crop prices!

  • Hi Millard,
    Glad to hear your cover crops are prospering.
    Interesting that you mentioned phacelia. I know it’s a good cool weather crops\ and excellent for bee forage, but that all I know. I think I might search for some and try it. Sounds very interesting.
    And yes — the minute something is widely promoted in the media it seems the price goes up. The perfect example here is garden supplies. Seems the minute they are widely promoted people seem to think they absolutely have to have them to garden. Two examples are compost tumblers and frames for raised beds.

    How did you find my website, Millard? Hope it has been beneficial even though we live in different parts of the world.

    Nice to have you comment. Many thanks.

  • Hi Sue,
    Glad to know it’ not just me having trouble with their website. Thanks for letting me know.
    They have some great stuff in that catalog!

  • Dear Theresa, I saw something you had written on another website and wanted to investigate your own personal website.

    Phacelia is a wonderful cover crop, which I usually start in March/April for the beneficial insects it attracts. I sow it again, interspersed with rows of field beans (fava), in late summer for the second time. Interestingly, phacelia is supposed to be a pernicious weed in the Midwest much hated by American corn farmers. Organic farmers in Europe are always on the lookout for new cover crops, especially the Swiss. They are currently investigating a new one from Africa.

    I find it strange that there is not a better transfer of knowledge between organic gardeners from both sides of the Atlantic. Our growing conditions are very similar. Your website is quite inspiring!

  • Thanks Millard for letting me know how you found my site. I’m very pleased to have you as a reader and am glad you find TMG inspiring!

    I did a little more searching yesterday after you mentioned phacelia. I plan to grow it this spring and am very excited about it. Am thrilled to have another plant for the beneficials that can be used as a cover crop as well.

    Thanks letting your presence by known! and for sharing!

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