Recently many of you took a product idea survey, things I'm working on here at the Greenhorn Garden. One of the things that stood out: cover crops. Many of you are really interested in implementing more and more organic methods into your gardens, but first thanks to all of you who took the time to take the survey. I know you're busy, and I definitely appreciate your help.


Can I ask you one other quick thing? Besides using cover crops in your organic gardening methods, supplementing or replacing your traditional compost pile, and how to choose what cover crops to use, what else should be included in the Greenhorn Gardening Cover Crops 101 course?


Grow'em big!


7 Responses to “Cover Crops 101 Question”

  1. Damon Says:

    What do you think should be included in the Greenhorn Gardening Cover Crops 101 course?

  2. Carolyn Loveland Says:

    Hi Damon,
    Each cover crop provides different soil nutritional values and assets to the soil. Depending on their existing soil nutritional composition I would suggest including those values and assets…??  ( For example an asset of buckwheat is that it breaks up clay soil.. Just to clarify what I mean by assets) Just a thought 🙂

  3. Damon Says:

    Hey, thanks for dropping a note. Boy, you guys make me do my homework. 🙂

  4. jeffrey shafer Says:

    i am moving my raised beds to better utilize my gardening space.  in the process i have discovered termites in my raised beds.  i did not use treated lumber becuase i was told that chemicals in treated lumber would leach out into soil.  is there an organic way to eliminate them and to solve this problem in future?

  5. Damon Says:

    Let me ask you this: Are you growing completely above ground like Square Foot Gardening, or are you growing a more traditional garden, the old sow-in-the-ground method?

    With termites, you can try boric acid, but you’d probably be best with a bait system like what professional pest control companies use. As far as the beds themselves, chuck the wood and go with the mounded-bed system.

  6. Rebecca Urbina Says:

    Don't forget about us Northerners! Where it gets to -30 degrees sometimes in January or February. I would like to know if there are cover crops available that might survive up here into November or other fall soil preps besides just covering everything up with leaves to till into the soil in the spring.  Thanks

  7. Damon Says:

    So, yeah, the ground freezes up there, right? If you don’t mind what zone are you in?

    Winter rye is popular in the New England states and can handle down to Hardiness Zone 3. Also, even if the cover crops die off amid winter, you still get the benefit of the organic matter and erosion control. Winter rye is kind of your standard cover crop workhorse.

    Hairy vetch is another cover crop good to about Hardiness Zone 4.

    Covering everything up with leaves is a great way to go. I do that as part of my cover crop system as well. It’s hard to beat winter rye and hairy vetch as cold tolerant cover crop.

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