Fall cover crop—too late?

Asked November 24, 2015, 3:43 AM EST

Is it too late (Thanksgiving) to plant a cover crop in my vegetable garden in the west valley area? If not, what plant(s) might do well? Most of my 600-ft garden is under a 6.5-ft high tunnel. I'm hoping to add some nitrogen and have better, less compacted soil next spring. Thanks you.

Yamhill County Oregon

1 Response

You may plant cover crop now, whether it'll successfully grow is another story since the soil is much cooler and light levels are low. If the tunnel has plastic on it, that will help germination immensely. All you can do is try, maybe it'll work, maybe not. But you won't know unless you try. Cover crops do better if planted in September or early October. Our fall was so summer like this year that it put our fall clean-up tasks behind. If you'd rather not plant a cover crop, cover the garden with leaves which you can till under in the spring which will help with compacted soil. Here's a link to "Cover Crops for Home Gardens" from OSU Extension.