Here’s an example of what I mean by biological growing methods.

This is a field of asparagus, with wide (8′) spaces between rows. Normally those spaces would grow weeds and have to be cultivated all season. Instead, after asparagus harvest, I broadcast a cover crop of buckwheat between the rows. Along with some leftover vetch, peas, and sweetclover, it is shading out the weeds, conditioning the soil and attracting lots of beneficial insects.

Since this picture was taken, I let the buckwheat go to seed, then mowed it.? It is now regrowing from seed, and will winterkill when temperatures drop this fall.? Very low-maintenance!

I use a variation of this method for most of my widely-spaced crops. In potatoes, which are planted with a 4 1/2′ row spacing, I use buckwheat and cowpeas. Next I’ll be looking for a low-growing interplant for the cantaloupe that doesn’t grow up and shade out the vines.