Cover Crops For Small Gardens And Starting Seedlings

Asked March 23, 2017, 1:31 PM EDT


I'd like to get started on my garden preparation soon and I wondered if there were any cover crops you would suggest for a small garden. I know they are typically planted in the fall and I'm not sure if there are any you can do in Spring? I will be putting early veggies in as soon as possible (peas, etc.), so it would be either something I could plant and till in before then, or something I could plant in the areas of the garden which get the later crops.

Also, I'd like to start some seedlings inside this year, flowers, tomatoes, and peppers. So any resources on that would be appreciated. If I want to do melons and squash is it better to directly sow the seeds or are these also good started indoors?

Lastly, are there any products you'd recommend for this, grow lights, heating mats, etc? I won't have a lot of room, but hope to do 4-6 flats.

Thank you!

Alpena County Michigan

1 Response

Good Morning,

You are correct in that planting cover crops are generally done in the fall, however you can plant covers in the spring. The first question is what is your goal with the cover crop. If you want to build up the soil a good grass species, oats cereal rye, etc. would be good just be careful because they can easily become a weed problem.

For your other questions check out the Michigan Garden site at The site should be able to help you come up with what you need.