Pretty AND practical? The season of barren vegetable garden beds are upon us… but maybe you’re not ready to let go of those lush covered beds just yet. Cover crops are a way to bring your garden back to life with minimal work and most importantly they provide great benefits to your soil.
Here are some benefits of adding cover crops to your vegetable garden beds:
- Cover crops can act as a mulch with their ability to suppress weeds. Their roots deprive weeds of nutrients and their leaves create shade which doesn’t allow the weeds to photosynthesize effectively.
- Helps stabilize the soil by binding the soil together and improving its structure. This helps prevent erosion by wind or water runoff.
- Releases sugars through their roots which pumps energy down into the soil– sometimes as deep as 6ft depending on the crop.
- They can be turned into green manure! Till in your cover crops around spring time once the ground dries enough and at least 3 weeks before you intend to plant. Turning your cover crops into green manure adds organic matter as well as Nitrogen (which is required by plants to encourage healthy stem and leaf growth.)
Don’t leave your vegetable garden beds bare this winter and use cold-hardy crops to solar-charge your soil!