Cover crops help to improve soil health, reduce erosion, and suppress weeds. They also add nutrients to the soil and increase beneficial microorganisms, which in turn leads to healthier vegetables. The post provides some examples of suitable cover crops to plant alongside your vegetables and offers tips on how to incorporate cover crops into your garden rotation.

How To Plant Cover Crops In A Vegetable Garden

Before you plant any cover crops, you should pay attention to the following: A gardening style that can accommodate cover crops when you choose to plant them. Proper timing (not when your vegetables are in full bloom.) Use the right cover crop to increase the nutrients in your soil. Now that you have enough preparedness for the cover crops, you should: Plant them in between the rows of the vegetable garden.  The cover crops will be effective without overcrowding and eventually killing your vegetables. Alternatively, plant them around the vegetables while keeping a distance.

How Long Are Cover Crops Beneficial?

Cover crops are helpful until flowering. Cut them down to decompose for 2-3 weeks and nourish your vegetables. Avoid reseeding to prevent choking your crops. Let flowers benefit pollinators. Leaving non-dying cover crops too long harms your garden. Legumes fix nitrogen best, non-legumes add winter charm.

Cover Crops: Which Ones To Plant And When?

Home gardeners are spoilt for choice when choosing cover crops for their gardens. Cover crops are classified into two seasons: warm season and cool season cover crops. However, planting them before or after harvesting vegetables in the garden would be best.

Warm Season Cover Crop

Buckwheat is the most common cover crop for the warm season. It grows fast and quickly deters weed growth while keeping the soil mailable and moist enough for the gardener. Gardeners plant it in the spring and summer.

Cool Season Cover Crop

Oats are great cool-season cover crops, dying over winter. Plant in late summer/early autumn to keep nutrients for spring veggies. Rye also works but needs tilling as it grows back in spring. Squash, peppers, and tomatoes thrive with rye in veggie gardens.

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