Throw and Mow No Till Method for Cover Cropping

Has anyone tried “Throw and Mow” no till seed planting method for cover crops?

I hear about this method used a lot on the hunting forums for food plots. I currently am growing pumpkins on a rolled over mixture of cereal rye and hairy vetch. I would like to grow the same cover crop mixture as I currently have when I plant this fall. One of the thoughts that I’ve had about the throw and mow method is that after I do the burndown with glyphosate, since I don’t have a high amount of weeds and mostly pumpkin vines which will be flat after they die, I may not have enough plant matter to effectively cover the seeds with chopped up plant matter with a mower after I have broadcast the seed. Another consideration is that with a rolled cover crop on the ground, will this effect the seed to soil contact rate and thus the seed germination rate?


Rape, 7-top turnips, crimson clover…I can think of other things if cereal grain and vetch don’t seem up to the task. A disk behind a tractor or 4-runner might be needed on the vetch and rye.

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My guess is after the pumpkins spread out the cover crop will decompose quite a bit due to the extra humidity under the leaves.

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That is an interesting thought about humidity leading to decomposition. The cover crop seed might have a better chance to get to the soil

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i have a fairly step ditch, near the road that is precarious to mow, so i killed it off in sept. reseeded with wild pollinator mix , lupines and crown vetch. had about 70% coverage of what i planted come up the next summer. killed off the 30% of weeds again and reseeded those areas. used a small crank seed spreader. the last 2 summers now it is near 100% of what i planted there and now it reseeds itself. looks great! i didnt water or fertilize at all and most of this bank is gravel with my native clay from about halfway down to the bottom. suprisingly the plants did better in the mostly gravel. id think if you put down seed at the high end rate you could get near 100% the 1st year. i went pretty cheap the 1st time. why i had to go back and fill it in. my neighbors love how it looks now and comment on it all the time. not exactly what youre doing but wanted to share how it was done.


Thanks for sharing. I’ve always wanted to let the cereal rye and vetch go to seed to cut down on seeding costs. However, the pumpkins need to be planted before the cover crop can finish maturing the seed. I’m thinking about selectively rolling strips in the cover crop and letting the area between rows go to seed next year

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