Weekend Tip: Cover Crop Time!

Hello Rain! Lovely to see you again. Now that you’re here, I’ll toss around some cover crop that you can get growing for me.

Cover crops can feed your soil microbes sugars through their root systems, protect your soil from leaching and erosion, and provide nutrients in the spring when they are composted on the beds. Such a powerful way to feed and protect your soil through winter.

Here are my two favorite cover crop blends:

I also saved some fava beans from last year that I will inter-plant with the cover crop.

To Plant:

  1. Cut any leftover summer crop foliage to the soil line. Rough up soil with a scuffle how. Chop foliage and sprinkle over bed.
  2. Optional: add a thin layer of leaves and compost before sowing.
  3. Sprinkle cover crop seed over your beds. Poke in a few fava beans, if you have them.


  1. Go inside and make a cup of tea.
  2. Get warm by the fire.

In Early Spring (March-ish): Plan to cut crop down to the soil line to allow time for the foliage and roots to decompose. About two to three weeks before planting.

Cover crop in spring
Fall planted cover crop in spring.

A Word of Warning:

Know thyself. Cover crops are great, but if you find yourself short of time during planting season, you may opt to forego sowing cover crop. If you head out in April or May with your seedlings in hand, you will likely find a dense cover of foliage that will be putting on hearty spring growth to contend with before you can plant. One friend said, “I couldn’t get out to the garden early and by then it was so much work turning the cover crop in–I’m never doing that again!” That’s fair. There are many other ways to protect your soil through the winter. Read Garden Winterization Techniques for more ideas.

Good Fall Cover Crop Seeds: favas, daikon radish, oat grass, vetch, Australian field pea, crimson clover, barley, and winter wheat

Garlic. It’s not to late to plant everyone’s favorite allium! Read more about growing garlic.

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