Build a sustainable garden by using the tried-and-true technique farmers have used for centuries: cover cropping. You don't need to be an agriculture pro to use cover crops in the home garden, but you will notice the results when your soil is richer, healthier, and less weedy because you did.
Why Cover Cropping?
From large-scale farms to small home gardens, cover crops are an excellent way to keep soil healthy and save yourself a lot of work, time, and energy every spring. Plant cover crops in the off seasons (during autmn and winter) when your other plants aren't growing, rather than leaving your planting areas bare. Putting cover crops in place of empty garden beds will prevent weeds from growing in your garden plot and protect the soil from erosion, so you don't have to add four new inches of soil come spring. Less weedy and eroded soil is much better for planting when the seasons change again.
That's not all cover crops will do for your garden. While they grow and protect the soil through the autmn and winter, good cover crops add more nutrients to the soil to make it richer and healthier. A cover crop can be used to balance nitrogen levels in soil, which creates a richer planting area that needs fewer fertilizer treatments in the long run. And since the soil is being used for cover crops rather than left bare, you'll see a lot fewer mushrooms and other fungal growth during fall and winter seasons.
Use cover cropping to make your garden beds look prettier and stay healthier year-round, and create a sustainable garden with rich soil. Cover crops look a lot better than bare soil, and they do a lot more for your garden besides. Even in small gardens, a little bit of cover goes a long way toward keeping your soil healthier.