Better soil... less weeds

Planting a winter cover crop has two major benefits. It is a great way to improve your soil condition and it gives you a head start on next years weeds.

Here’s how:

In the late summer when most of your garden is coming to an end, sow an annual cover crop throughout your garden. During the fall this cover crop will grow vigorously with little effort from you. The result will be a cover that crowds out any nasty fall/winter weeds which normally grow and set their seeds for next spring. This classic idea gives you a head start on the number of weeds you’ll be fighting next year & at the same time you’ll be doing your garden a favor by growing a green manure which can be turned under in the spring along with some fresh compost before planting. As an alternative, you can let the crop die off naturally leaving behind a thick mat of dead mulch which will act as a barrier against weeds and help retain moisture during the following summer. You can simply poke holes in the dead mulch to sow your seeds or your transplants in. Some good choices for cover crops are; oats, buck-wheat, rye grass, millet, & annual or perennial clover. However, you should prevent a cover crop from going to seed & becoming a problem itself. Simply cut it down before it flowers and you’ll be ok!!

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