Winter Organic Gardening: Put Your Beds to Bed with Cover Crops

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After tomatoes and other summer veggies are finished in the garden, revitalize your soil by growing cover crops. Take advantage of the annual rains by planting these low-maintenance garden helpers. Cover crops improve your soil when the garden rests over the winter months by:

  • Supressing weeds
  • Preventing erosion
  • Breaking up clay soils
  • Increasing fertility
  • Adding organic matter

In addition, cover crops attract pollinators and other beneficial insects and increase the biodiversity in the garden. Common cover crops include fava beans, vetch, clover, alfalfa, peas, oats, wheat and daikon radish. Pollinate Farm & Garden offers these seeds as well as a popular cool season mix that does it all!

Working with cover crop is simple:

  1. Sow cover crops after the first rains of the season.
  2. Grow over the winter months until the plants begin to flower.
  3. Mow, hoe, or use a string trimmer to kill the crop in place. Allow the crop to decompose over the remainder of the season, and lightly work into the top few inches soil before spring planting.

Growing cover crop during the winter months will help build your soil for spectacular spring results!