Garden Wisdom Blog — Cover-crops
Green Manure Cover Crops
category: Articles and Instructions category: Garden Resources category: Soil Talk Cover-crops how-to-grow organic
“Green manure” is the name given to cover crops that are planted for the purpose of adding nutrients and organic matter to the soil. These plants can be as effective as animal manure in producing humus, thereby increasing soil fertility and structure. Green manure cover crops are inexpensive to plant, and serve multiple purposes. Best of all, they can be put to work during times of the year when growing food crops is not feasible. A central concept of organic gardening is the notion of feeding the soil. We literally add organic matter to the soil to provide food for...
Time to Plant Legumes
category: Articles and Instructions category: Garden Resources category: Winter Gardening Cover-crops fall-planting green-manure legumes nitrogen-fix what-to-plant-now winter-gardening
It’s September, and much of the garden has been put to bed. Heat loving summer crops have all but withered: Sunflower heads have been cut for drying, tomatoes have been picked green and brought indoors, and pumpkins sit bright and orange while the rest of the plants have succumbed to mildew and the season’s end. Now is the time to plant legumes as cover crops, though. Members of the pea and bean family germinate well in the cooler soil of autumn. Plants like clover, fava beans, vetch, and winter field peas are perfectly cold hardy, and will continue growing (slowly),...