5 Tips for using a Cover Crop in Your Organic Garden
You may have heard of cover crops (AKA green manures or living mulches). Cover crops are a crop you plant in your garden during times when your main vegetable crops aren't growing. Winter time is a great time for cover crops! Plants commonly used as winter cover crops include wheat, clover, vetch and rye. The seed for these plants is very inexpensive and is available at your local garden center or feed store. They are also available through mail order sources.
Cover crops can be a simple and attractive way to boost your organic garden's vegetable growing potential. They add visual interest to your garden with their green color and blossoms during the winter and early spring months. These crops help your garden ecosystem in many different ways.
1. Attract Beneficial
Creatures-- Cover crops provide habitat and food for
beneficial insects, toads and birds. As cover crops grow, they
also provide a home for soil creatures such as earthworms.
Cover crops can also
"scavenge" for nutrients such as phosphorus and make them more
available to your vegetable crops.
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Tammy Biondi has been growing organic produce for over 10 years. Besides running Blue Horizon Farm, Tammy teaches about sustainable farming at the Central Carolina Community College. She also is a successful freelance writer, focusing on agricultural topics. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.