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QUESTION: Too late for cover crops?

comments (1) February 28th, 2012

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ToyBoy213 ToyBoy213, member
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Photo by gardengrrrl under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.Click To Enlarge

Photo by gardengrrrl under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.

I live in the Northeast and forgot to plant cover crops in my raised beds last fall.  Is there anything I can do now, to get the beds ready for the new plants I'll be putting in this spring?   


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Comments (1)

LillianInIowa writes: You still have a couple of opportunities to add cover crops now. If you can spare a bed for part of the summer, you could use buckwheat. But it doesn't sound like you want to give up any precious garden space during the food-growing season.

What I would do (in fact, what I do) is use all kinds of peas--inoculated, of course--as your cover crop.

I plant peas super-heavily in wide swaths, even in yard-square sections. Then, as the peas are just finishing, it's time for my heavy summer feeders, like tomatoes or melons or squash. I cut a small center section of my peas out of the ground and plant the summer crop right in the middle of the pea patch.

The peas serve as a ground cover; then when they die, they're a mulch; and throughout the season, they provide nitrogen and become a "lasagna garden" layer of mulch for your summer veggie plants.
Posted: 9:23 am on March 14th
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