header image

Cover Crops for Garden Soil Health

Cover Crop mix

Cover crops for your garden or fields provides benefits for building soil health and retaining nutrients in the soil for successive crops. 
Regardless of what is growing - flowers, vegetables, grass, or crops, soil should have a living cover for as many months of the year as possible.
Common plants used in cover crops include non-specific varieties of grains such as rye, oats, barley, wheat, triticale, buckwheat or other cereal grains. Vetch, clover, and annual ryegrasses are common in cover crop rotations, as well as brassicas such as turnips, radishes, rape, etc.
 7 benefits of Cover Crops:                         Cover crop vetch and clover
  • Reduce erosion or loss of topsoil
  • Reduce compaction
  • Reduce runoff, leaching, and volatilization of nutrients
  • Improve soil organic matter
  • Improves water infiltration and drainage
  • Improves soil structure retention
  • Provides microbiome food and a stable environment
Using the principles of feeding the soil to feed the plants, sustainability can improve dramatically. The bacteria, fungi, and other microbes living in the soil create a symbiotic relationship with the plants growing.  Once a good balance of Soil pH, Organic Matter, Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC), and Nutrients are stabilized in the soil over time, the balance becomes easier to maintain and the soil health improvements are evident in less weed and pathogen pressure, healthier crops, higher yields, and less input costs.  Symbiosis occurs when healthy soils are able to support more beneficial microbe populations which in turn can break down and provide the growing plant's nutrients that are already present in the soil and from the microbial waste stream.  In other words, happy, healthy soil microbes, provide food and an ideal soil substrate for healthy productive plants. 
Feed the microbes to feed the plants!
Ask us about soil testing and a plan to help improve the health of your soil!

Also in Lawn & Garden Blog

Lawn and evergreens
Grass Seed - Aeration, Seeding and Purity of Seed

Mechanical aeration alleviates soil compaction in established turf. Compaction occurs primarily in the soil surface. A compacted layer as thin as one-fourth to one-half an inch can greatly impede water infiltration and gas exchange between soil and atmosphere.

Continue Reading

Fall Veggies
Nutrients for Fall Cold Crops

Fall cold crops are crops that grow as the days get shorter and cooler. The soil must be permeable to the roots of these cold crops so that they can develop into edible sizes. It is also best when planting root crops to make sure your soil is phosphorous and potassium rich and somewhat nitrogen poor.

Continue Reading

Hornet nest in tree cavity
What’s All the Buzz About

Several customers are complaining about Wasp, Hornets, Cicada Killers, and Yellow Jackets being extremely aggressive this year.  Fall is the time that we will notice an increase in the activity of wasps and bees.

Continue Reading