If you do nothing else for your garden this year, plant a cover crop! When you let your garden sit empty all winter, the top layer of soil and humus is exposed and can wash or blow away. Furthermore, the network of fungi and bacteria in your soil that releases phosphorus and nitrogen back to plants feeds on carbohydrates, released through the roots of plants. With no plants growing, there is no food for for these bacterial and fungal populations, which has a domino effect on the entire soil food web.
Using a cover crop can improve soil health, prevent erosion, add organic matter, attract pollinators, promote and feed your soil biology, increase tilth, and suppress weeds.
Our House Cover Crop Blend, consisting of Oats, Tillage Radish, Crimson Clover, and Winter Peas, is formulated to do a little bit of everything. 1 lb. will cover 200 square feet.
- Oats - Prevents erosion, scavenges nutrients, suppresses weeds, and adds biomass
- Tillage Radish - Sends down a long tap root, helping to break up compacted/clay soils, and reaching down into the subsoil to scavenge nutrients
- Crimson Clover - Fixes nitrogen and helps build soil
- Winter Peas - Great nitrogen fixer and builds biomass
We recommend seeding Mid-September to Mid-October in the Southeast; anything later than that and you run the risk of the radish not taking off properly. This blend can be planted at other times of the year as well, you just may not see the same performance out of certain crops in the blend.
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