Cover crops are fast-growing crops that you grow between planting seasons and then till back into the soil. Different cover crops have different properties, and serious gardeners use them to replenish and repair their gardening soil (which allows them to replenish the soil naturally instead of using chemical fertilizers and artificial soil supplements).
Choosing the Right Cover Crops
Not sure which to use? Here are some basic guidelines to help you find the right cover crops for your garden.
|Nitrogen-Fixing Cover Crops||Nitrogen-Scavenging Cover Crops||Cover Crops for Attracting Beneficial Insects|
|Medium Red Clover||Buckwheat||Medium Red Clover|
|Vetch||Medium Red Clover||Sweetclover|
|Cover Crops for Weed Management||Cover Crops for Organic Material||Cover Crops That Soften Soil Hardness|
|Ryegrass||Fall Mustards||Forage Turnip|
|Buckwheat||Field Peas||Hairy Vetch|
|Fall Mustards||Japanese Millet||Sudangrass|
|Forage Radish||Rye||White Clover|
|Fast-Growing Grasses||Cover Crops that Stabilize Soil Aggregates||Cover Crops that Loosen Compact Soil|
|Millet||Fall Mustards||Medium Red Clover|
|Ryegrass||What Spelt Tritcale|
For an excellent, in-depth look at the crops listed above, check out the cover crop agricultural pages at Cornell University or find other useful gardening information on my Gardening Guides page.
Image thanks to Rebecca Wilson!