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Cover Crops to Build Soil

Growing cover crops over the winter can build your soil naturally. Check out the nitrogen nodules on this fall sown cover crop pea below! We will dig this into the garden bed so it can provide nutrients to our summer vegetables.

Cover Crops to Build Soil: Root Nodules on Pea
Cover Crops to Build Soil: Root Nodules on Pea Cover Crop

Common cover crops include annual ryegrass, oats, buckwheat and legumes, such as peas, beans, alfalfa, clover and vetch, and perennials like red clover, white clover. Legumes specifically are helpful as they are able to form a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria called rhizobia, so they can fix atmospheric nitrogen for use by subsequent crops. Cover crops also produce biomass and add organic matter to the soil, reduce erosion, and attract beneficial insects. Plant cover crop seeds in the fall, and then you can cut cover crops down and turn in to the soil in the spring to help boost your soil's health each season.

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