Hey novice gardeners, have you heard about cover crops? Wonder what they are and if you should make the effort to plant one? Cover crops in your garden are useful for several reasons:
- Build nutrients in the soil
- Increase organic matter
- Prevent soil erosion over the winter
Ideally, a cover crop should be planted as soon as the summer crops are removed and given adequate time to establish before winter. The earlier you plant the cover crop, the more options you have. Legumes, radish, and some grasses need to be planted in the early fall to get the maximum benefit. Winter rye can be planted late, even now in November. Winter rye sprouts easily and will grow even in cold weather. So do the work now, in the winter, and reap a better harvest next summer. These pictures of our winter rye show seeds, sprouts after a few days, and three weeks of recent growth at Fat Moon Farm.
Check out Mother Earth News for all the scientific details about cover crops.