How to use cover crops to make a stronger, healthier organic garden.
A cover crop is a plant or group of plants that grow quickly and provie several benefits to your garden. Cover crops are a great resource that home gardeners can use to enrich soil, keep weeds at bay and grow better veggies! Several varieties well suited for Texas and the South during summer are:
Considered the most productive heat-adapted legume in the United States. The dense growth habit suppresses weeds, provides nitrogen to the soil and helps build the soil when it is turned under. Grow as a summer annual. Also known as Southern peas, black-eye peas and crowder peas.
Not many cover crops grow as rapidly and as easily as buckwheat, it is considered the speedy short-season summer cover crop. Other attributes are that it suppresses weeds, provides nectar for beneficial insects(HELPS BEES!!), loosens topsoil and rejuvenates low-fertility soils. Grow as a summer or cool-season annual.
Crosses between forage-type sorghums and sudangrass, these grass hybrids are unrivaled in their ability to add organic matter your soil in the heat of our Texas summer. They love the heat, grow tall very quickly, can smother weeds and suppress some nematode species. To get them to grow deeper roots, which helps to break up compacted soil, is to trim them back when they get to about three feet. Grow as a summer annual. They are not frost tolerant. Also known as Sudex or Sudax.
“‘No Bare Ground’ should be your motto as a backyard farmer! Always have something growing.“