Hairy-Vetch cover crop by walts organic fertilizers

What is cover crop or green manure
and why use them?

Cover crops can:

  • Protect your soil from runoff and erosion
  • Recycle and supply nutrients
  • Replace soil organic matter
  • Suppress weeds
  • Attract beneficial insects
  • Break up compacted soils

 

 

 

 

When and why:

Cover CropWhen to SowWhen to Turn UnderKey Benefits
PhaceliaEnd of Mar – Early August40-55 days after sowingProvides food for beneficial insects. Pretty flowers, a lot of organic matter, smothers weeds
AlyssumEnd of Mar – Early August3 weeks before planting next cropProvides food for beneficial insects. Pretty flowers and a lot of organic matter
BuckwheatApril – early Aug40-55 days after sowingProduces a lot of organic matter and smothers weeds. Provides food for beneficial insects.
Dutch White CloverApr-Jun, Aug-Sepcut 2 or more times a monthNitrogen fixing, great as a living mulch under trees and in areas with foot traffic
Crimson CloverSep – OctApr – MayEasy to turn, beautiful blooms, can be sown under existing crops
Cayuse OatsSep – OctApr – MayQuick, weed-suppressing biomass, can improve the productivity of legumes when planted together
RyeSep – Early NovAprGrows well in cool conditions, supports legumes
Hairy VetchSep – Early NovMar – AprNitrogen fixing, good biomass, feeds beneficial insects. Best if mixed with a cereal (rye or oats).
FavaOct-early NovMayTaproot breaks up compacted soils and adds organic matter, flowers are edible

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Seattle, WA 98199

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