I figured my plots--primarily Buck Forage oats with a few turnips and Austrian winter peas
mixed in--would imprint those places on the brains of all deer in the valley.
Clover, vetch, and Austrian winter peas
are legumes and they are great at fixing the nitrogen in the soil.
Collins, CO, personal communication, 1997) planted Austrian winter peas
immediately after corn harvest (October or November) and Trapper spring peas in March, and harvested the peas in late June.
These super-cold-hardy Austrian winter peas deserve a place on every gardener's winter "must grow" list.
As with spinach and kale, you can plant Austrian winter peas in late summer or fall, and then harvest the shoots for as long as eight months in many regions (October to May) before the peas flower and go to seed in spring.
But on the roots of my Austrian winter peas, I always find extensive nodules.
Deer also love Austrian winter peas, so many hunters plant them in food plots to attract the animals.
If soil fertility and increased tilth are your main goals, choose an overwintering cover crop such as Austrian winter peas or hairy vetch.
Although less winter-hardy than hairy vetch, Austrian winter peas offer a cool bonus: The tender young shoots are delicious in salads--just pick off the tips.
In the space you will use in early summer for sweet corn, tomatoes and other demanding warm-weather crops, you may still have time to sow a winter cover crop such as hairy vetch, Austrian Winter peas
or crimson clover (see "8 Strategies for Better Garden Soil," June/July 2007).
Annual cover crops such as vetch, triticale, rye, winter wheat or Austrian winter peas
should be sown in mid-September.