Starting A Garden

Cover Crops

Anonymous added on February 6, 2014 | Answered

This is my first time doing vegetable gardening. I inherited one year old beds (four of them, about 4' by 6') from someone at my complex. After pulling all the old plants last fall and doing a bit of research on winter management for my beds, I decided on cover crops, specifically, I inoculated the seeds according to the directions, and planted them in mid October. They sprouted a few weeks after and grew up to a about 5 inches but have stopped there. There is no where near full coverage of the garden bed and there is still lots of exposed soil, in some of the beds more than others. At this point, what would your recommendations be to make sure my soil is prepared properly for planting crops in the next month or two? I'm worried that there are not enough cover crops for enough nitrogen fixing/organic matter added to soil.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on February 6, 2014

If you have it, composted manure can get the nitrogen in the soil very quickly and will also help plants with taking up phosphorus already in the soil. Simply add it over garden area and then this spring till it (along with cover crops) into the soil. Likewise, you could just leave as is for now, till it in spring and then add additional soil additives (like the composted manure) during planting.

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