Cover crop recommendations?

Asked February 11, 2017, 7:51 AM EST

For vegetable gardening in our are, do you recommend specific cover crops?

Boyd County Kentucky

1 Response

Not really, there are so many you can use, and a lot of it depends on your management, needs or personal preferences. If you are a are willing to spend a the time and management on it, I like a mix of crimson clover and a small grain, such as wheat, rye or barley (and there are other options as well). The clover will put nitrogen into the soil and the clover and grain will both add a lot of organic matter into the soil when tilled under and allowed to decay, building the soil texture greatly. But you have to be willing to cut the cover crop and/or till it under at the correct time, before it goes to seed. But if they are allowed to seed, then when those seeds germinate, they will become weeds. The next part, I do not mean to sound simplistic or offend you, but since I do not know your experience level, I wanted to touch on a couple of basics. Most of the cover crops in this area are sown in the fall after the summer garden fades. Although, if you are growing a spring garden, such as early peas or cole crops, and not growing a second garden crop during the summer, you could have a summer cover crop. And you want to get the cover crop seeded as soon as you can after the summer garden crop is removed and the soil tilled, usually in mid-Sept. - mid-Oct. Please contact me if you have anymore questions. Lyndall