I'll put this out to the whole list in the event that others can also shed light on it. We've been undersowing paths for several years and are also moving toward permanent, live paths.
Dutch white clover has been our best path cover crop so far, since it is low growing and comes back well after having been walked on our driven on. We use it in the aisles between all our Biotello beds (cucurbits and some solanaceous.) We also undersow all the fall brassicas and their aisles with it. We haven't had any trouble with it going feral the following year, and we've done it for two years now.
The downside of clover is that it's expensive seed and that, since it's only growing for half of a season, we're not getting much of a nitrogen fix from it. If we knew of a non-leguminous and cheaper plant that was also low-growing and resilient, we'd definitely try it out.
Last season, we undersowed our leeks and their aisles with annual rye, once we'd finished fully hilling the leeks in mid-summer. The rye reached 8-12 inches in height by the time we undercut and harvested in October. Seemed great - the thick thatch helped keep the leaks clean during harvest, and the rye sod recovered from the harvest and formed a nice crop for overwintering. The leeks were good sized and didn't seem to have suffered from the competition.
We'll do this again, too, though not sure if such a tall crop would be appropriate for the Brassicas and other aisles. We haven't tried a mix - that might combine the worst attributes of both! Maybe we'll try a few aisles this summer to see.
Very curious to hear what else is working for folks, especially for permanent, live aisles. Our beds and aisles are always in the same place from year to year, but up until now, we've always chiseled and tilled the aisles each season for weed control.
Sunrise Farm, WRJ
On Thu, Mar 18, 2010 at 4:32 PM, Mimi Arnstein <[log in to unmask]>
Anyone have experience with undersowing and also live,
permanent paths? I’d like to trial a ryegrass & clover mix and would
appreciate hearing any experience (good or bad) out there. Please respond to [log in to unmask]
Also, any good sources for stainless steel washtubs?
270 Orizzonto Road
White River Jct., VT 05001