Plant a Cover Crop

Honey bee feeding on crimson clover flower.

Honey bee feeding on crimson clover flower.
Millie Davenport, ©2018, HGIC, Clemson Extension

Do not let your garden soil go fallow through the winter. Plant a cover crop or a mix of cover crops for their multiple benefits to your soil. Cover crops are an important part of any rotational system in your garden. Just as with vegetables, different cover crops are planted at different times of year based on their preference for warm or cool temperatures. In this instance, we would use a cool season cover crop to overwinter the garden. If you have never planted a cover crop before, I would recommend a combination of crimson clover and winter wheat. The clover provides nitrogen; both will crowd out weeds and then can be turned into the soil in spring to provide organic matter. My recommendation is to mix a half of a pound of crimson clover with three quarters of a pound of winter wheat to cover 1000 square feet. Cover crops can certainly be used in raised beds as well for improving soil and suppressing weeds. For more information, see HGIC 1252, Cover Crops

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

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