Snow peas for early cover crop?
Hi anyone who is reading.
I have a couple questions, will snow peas be a suitable cover crop for a couple raised beds? I started the raised beds last year and bought dirt from a local sand and gravel place and the dirt was ok. I grew tomatoes and some other veggies in the two beds last season and they did fine with no chemical fertilizers.
My compost is not ready and I did topdress them in the fall with shredded maple leaves. I had planned to plant both beds full of snow peas as a spring cover crop until the end of May when the majority of our plants are safe to plant out. I thought I could #1 get a harvest of peas in, and #2 help the beds by fixing nitrogen with the peas. And then #3 cut the plants down and just lay them as a green top mulch for whatever I plan to plant in those two specific beds.
Will this be beneficial to the bed? If I just cut the peas down at the base of the stem and lay them down will they provide a decent mulch for the bed? As long as I don't till them in I am hoping to keep the soil food web alive and strong. I will also be topdressing with my finished compost right after I plant the beds out. Should I put the cut pea plants on top of the compost or below the compost?
I'm trying to not till or disturb the soil as much as possible and this next fall instead of just a shredded leaf mulch, I will plant a fall/winter cover crop. Maybe not snow peas but something else I can just chop down and leave it where it lies.