Wednesday, August 12, 2009

8 Excellent Reasons To Plant Cover Crops

You will notice when crops are harvested and the ground worked up, we usually plant buckwheat or rye, oats or wheat as a green manure cover crop. Here's all the good reasons why. Thanks to Peaceful Valley for the article!

1. To provide erosion control.

2. To build the soil's organic matter & humus content and improve soil structure.

3. Increase the microbial activity and biomass in the topsoil and provide food for the soil microbes and earthworms which are vital to plant health.

4. To provide competition to weed growth.

5. To increase water infiltration from rainfall and irrigation. Your soil gets more water, distributed more evenly.

6. To increase nutrient availability: cover crops extract nutrients from the subsoil and deposit them in the topsoil.

7. To provide habitat, prey, nectar and pollen for beneficial insects.

8. To break up the subsoil, clay layers and plowsoles for increased water and air penetration.

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