Cover crops – our Peaceful Valley order

About a month late, we finally ordered our cover crops last week.  Peaceful Valley has a great selection, but they've been out of some of the items I wanted to order for weeks and I was overwhelmed as there is so much to read.

I called them, hoping to get some advice for our climate and soils, but nobody was available and I ended up sending an email.  Here is the response, as it's helpful to all who don't know much about cover crops:

Dear Christine,
There are different types of cover crops. Some stay alive in the ground and some are grown and cut down and tilled into the soil.
Perennial clovers are good if you want to leave them growing in the ground for nitrogen fixing. They like a well-drained soil (your sandy soil would be good) and do need water, but might also be invasive. They will die back in the cold, but come back when it warms up again. Annuals need to go to seed before they die so they can reseed for the next season. There are perennial and annual grasses, but they do not fix nitrogen and they would need to be cut because they grow much taller than clover. Vetches fix nitrogen and are annuals that are hardy to 0 degrees. Those you would also till into the soil.
It all depends on whether you want something that grows all year long or is tilled into the soil at the end of the season.
We carry a few books on permaculture gardening. …

I had hoped for a specific recommendation and it's so late in the year already, I finally spent over three hours TRYING to look at all the cover crops: http://www.groworganic.com/seeds/cover-crop.html
Ordered 10 lbs of  Soil Builder Mix – Raw:

Item#: SCM120 Availability: In stock $ 1.19
Cool season legume cover crop. Extraordinary yields of Nitrogen (up to 290 lb/acre) and organic matter (up to 49 tons/acre). Chokes out weeds and provides excellent habitat for beneficial insects. We developed this mix especially for vegetable rotations and general cool-weather cover cropping. Soil Builder is not filled with cheap grasses like other mixes. Contains the highest-yielding winter-hardy legumes with cayuse oats added to stabilize the soil, and to nurse and scaffold the vetches. Grows to 4'-6'. Seed at 3-5 lb/1000 sq ft, or 70-120 lb/acre at a depth of 3/4 to 1 in September or October. In coastal or cool summer zones, Soil Builder can be spring-planted. (Raw seed, requires Pea Vetch or Garden Combination Inoculant.) Contains: 40% Bell Beans, 20% Magnus or BioMaster Winter Peas, 15% Lana Vetch, 15% Purple Vetch,10% Cayuse Oats.

Planting & Growing Guide
Also ordered a variety of mixes, some seeds and inoculant.  I was thrilled when Fed Ex delivered today, they only shipped on Monday.  Keep in mind that they'll take a few days to ship when you plan your order.
Here is our order:

Soil Builder Mix – Raw (Lb)
SCM120
$ 1.19
Ordered: 10
$ 11.90
Low Growing Clover Mix – Rhizocoated (Pack)
SCM701
$ 2.46
Ordered: 1
$ 2.46
New Zealand White Clover – Rhizocoated (Pack)
SCL324
$ 2.46
Ordered: 1
$ 2.46
O'Conners Strawberry Clover – Rhizocoated (Pack)
SCL349
$ 2.46
Ordered: 1
$ 2.46
Garden Combination Mix Inoculant
ISE350
$ 4.99
Ordered: 1
$ 4.99
Mustard Mix (Lb)
SCN755
$ 3.39
Ordered: 1
$ 3.39
Companion Cover Crop Mix (Lb)
SCM155
$ 2.69
Ordered: 1
$ 2.69
Black Eye Peas – Raw (Lb)
SCL825
$ 2.09
Ordered: 1
$ 2.09
Red Cowpeas – Raw (Lb)
SCL810
$ 2.19
Ordered: 1
$ 2.19
PVFS Broccoli Di Ciccio
SNV8019
$ 0.00
Ordered: 1
$ 0.00
PVFS Beets Cylindra
SNV8015
$ 0.00
Ordered: 1
$ 0.00
Buckwheat (Lb)
SCN600
$ 1.89
Ordered: 1
$ 1.89
Sod Buster Mix (Lb)
SCM620
$ 1.16
Ordered: 5
$ 5.80
Regional Southwest Native Wildflower Mix (1/4 Lb)
SWF945
$ 13.99
Ordered: 1
$ 13.99
Seeds of Change Marigold Lemon Gem
SWF063
$ 3.25
Ordered: 1
$ 3.25
Renee's Garden Greens California Spicy Mix
SNV4040
$ 2.76
Ordered: 1
$ 2.76
Main Catalog 2010
MAINCAT
$ 0.00
Ordered: 1
$ 0.00
Order Subtotal $ 62.34
Shipping & Handling $ 13.67
Grand Total $ 76.01

So we'll try various seeds in various areas and see what happens!

It FROZE last night, went down to 28.
Just like last year, when it also froze a month early. It's not supposed to freeze till Thanksgiving.
Also got some broccoli and beet seeds (got two free packs) and wonder how much frost they can take.  Last Night we lost some  upper leaves of some tomatoes and zucchini and the basil on the north side of the house froze a little even though it was covered.
Was too busy to work outside today, maybe we'll start planting tomorrow.