What’s a Cowl Crop?
A canopy crop is a planting whose sole function is to construct the soil and improve the backyard’s ecosystem typically. The highest development supplies natural matter and vitamins for the soil by photosynthesis. The roots break up compacted soil, present meals for useful microbes and fungal networks within the soil, and if it’s a nitrogen-fixing crop, enrich the soil with nitrogen.
How Cowl Crops Advantages Your Backyard
Completely different cowl crops supply totally different advantages. Some, like clover and furry vetch, add nitrogen again into the soil; others, like winter rye and radish, break up compacted soil. Nonetheless others, like mustards, can suppress weed seeds and ailments.
All cowl crops anchor the soil into place, stop erosion of precious topsoil. This additionally builds and promotes good soil construction, which is able to profit crops that observe them. That is along with the copious quantities of natural matter supplied by these crops, which nourish and profit your backyard for the long-term.
As well as, some cowl crops, when allowed to flower, supply nectar and habitat for useful bugs.
Why Plant Cowl Crops within the Fall
Whereas I’m a proponent of summer time cowl crops to fill in gaps in the course of the season (buckwheat is my favourite), planting cowl crops within the fall supply distinctive advantages:
- Seeds germinate simply in heat soil
- You doubtless have empty house from summer time harvested crops
- Some sorts overwinter (relying in your backyard zone), serving as a dwelling mulch for early spring crops and early flowers for spring pollinators
- Some die over the winter (relying on zone), providing the advantages of the quilt crop in natural matter whereas making a “clean slate” when spring arrives
- They provide the enjoyment of one thing GROWING over the winter and early spring