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How to Cover Crop

How to Cover Crop

, by Hannah Nelson, 2 min reading time

Cover crops can be planted at various times, but Spring and Fall are the more common, depending on how you plant to use them. Below are four different point on how to cover crop. 

Are you looking to become more sustainable as a grower, eliminate the need for fertilizers and regenerate you soil? Then it's time to consider cover cropping which is a natural way to add nutrients to your soil, manage disease and pests, improve water infiltration and naturally regenerate your soil. Learn more about Why to Cover Crop. 

Cover crops can be planted at various times, but Spring and Fall are the more common, depending on how you plan to use them. Below are four different point on how to cover crop. 

1. Climate 

The key to growing a great cover crop is understanding your local environment. The best way you can get information about your climate is by contacting your local agriculture extension for details about the lengths of warm and cool seasons, the average first and last frosts, and the peak high and low temperature of the year. Wait until the ideal temperature match the requirements for the seed you want to plant, then get it planted! 

2. Context 

"A world without context is lifeless." This quote is by our friend Ray Archuletta who is a professional soil scientist. The context of your soil is very important when determining the kind of cover crop you need. Get your hands dirty! Feel it! Is it thick clay? Is it light and dusty? Is it compacted? Do you have a weed problem? Once you know your context you can find a cover crop that will rejuvenate your soil. 

3. Cover Crops 

We have specially designed cover crop seed mixes to build soil health in your garden, small area, food plot, acreage...ect. If you know your climate and your context you can get creative and either craft a mix yourself using our SmartMix Calculator or you can purchase one of our Pre-Made Mixes from our store. When choosing a mix or creating a mix ask yourself, when am I going to terminate the cover crops? How will I terminate it? Am I going to a till or no-till method? 

4. Sow and Grow! 

Sowing the seed the correct way will help you maximize your growth potential. Broadcasting is a method we typically recommend because it is the best way to get an even spread of seed for a garden or small plot. You may need to seed heavily to account for potential germination loss. You need to have optimal seed to soil contact to increase your germination and growth potential. Prepare your soil by dicing or turning it if you are choosing a tillage method. If you are choosing a no-till method, then cover the seeds with a layer of mulch or topsoil after broadcasting. 

Make sure to water your cover crop heavily after broadcasting and tend to the specific needs of each seed variety. You will grow a healthy and abundant cover crop if you understand what it requires in terms of temperature, light, and moisture.

We hope after reading this article you have the confidence and knowledge to begin regenerating your soils through cover cropping and implement it into your current and future growing regiment. We wish you a Happy Planting and Healthy Soil! 

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