Without a bit of hesitation, I can tell you our fall garden cover crop is the single most important factor in the overall success of our garden every single year. It simply delivers on so many levels!
Want more fertile soil? Want less weeds next year? Want to keep the top layer of your soil from eroding away throughout the winter? Want to make planting your garden a breeze next spring? Then planting a fall garden cover crop is your answer to all of the above and more.
And the best part of all – is you don’t even have to till it back into the garden next spring. In fact, by not tilling it, you can have even less weeds, and a lower maintenance garden!
The Benefits Of A Fall Garden Cover Crop
By definition, cover crops are plantings of clover, annual rye, buckwheat or other grains and legumes. These plantings help to protect soil from winter erosion as their thick growth covers the bare ground. And keeping that ground covered means keeping weed seeds from blowing in to become next year’s weeds.
But equally important, the root nodules of cover crops can help to fix nitrogen levels in the soil. Nitrogen is a critical element needed for strong vegetable garden growth. Corn, tomatoes, peppers and other garden crops are heavy nitrogen feeders. By growing a fall garden cover crop each year, you help keep this all-important resource available for next year’s plants.
And finally, as those cover crops break down in the soil, they add back valuable humus and structure to your soil. It is a win-win-win that can power a garden to new and better heights every year.
A fall garden cover crop is easy to plant, inexpensive, and requires little to near zero effort to maintain. In fact, you don’t need to even till it in next spring! Related Product Links : Annual Rye Seed, Buckwheat Seed
The No-Till Method of Cover Cropping – Gardening Made Simple!
That’s right, there is no need to till the cover crop back into the soil next spring. When we first began to use annual rye as our fall garden cover crop in our Raised Row Garden, we would turn the crop over each spring into the soil. We would mow the crop off a few times until it died off, and then flip over with a shovel or pitchfork. It worked beautifully at recharging the soil, but it could be difficult work at times.
That all changed a few years back when we decided to leave the cover crops in place, and plant right through them as they died off. It was a huge success, not only saving time and labor, but helping to virtually eliminate all weeds by never disturbing the soil. See: Our Best Time Saving Garden Experiment Ever – No Till Cover Crops
So whatever you do this year – get out there and get that cover crop planted in your garden! For more information on how to plant, see our article : How To Plant A Cover Crop
Here’s to planting a great fall garden cover crop and recharging your garden! – Jim and Mary. If you would like to receive our DIY, Gardening and Recipe articles each week, you can sign up via email at the very bottom of this post. You can also like and follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to receive all of our latest tips and articles. This article may contain affiliate links.