Once your fall crops are done, plant cover crops to add nutrients back into the soil and give next spring’s plantings a healthier start. See our guide to regional U.S. cover crops or Canadian cover crops.
What are cover crops?
They’re legumes and grasses that provide fast-growing ground cover to amend and improve the soil. Here in New Hampshire, once we harvest and clean an area out, we often plant winter rye.
Why plant cover crops?
They’re a great and increasingly popular way to prevent soil erosion, block weeds, and add nutrients back into the soil to give next spring’s plantings a healthier start. If you ask your local CSA or farm stand, you’ll find that many cover their empty fields with cover crops as an alternative to animal manure as fertilizer.
Cover crops may be used in any size of garden. Plant in the late summer or early fall (after harvest) in northern areas and any time in the South.
The following is a list of cover crops suitable for your region.