Choosing the best type of cover crop
When choosing cover crops,
it's handy to look at broad categories to
find out which one (or ones) best fit your needs. The first
distinction to consider is whether your plants are annuals (meaning
they'll go to seed and die in less than a year) or perennials (meaning
they will live for many years). Perennial cover
crops have a place in pastures or tilled-garden settings, but, for our
purposes, you'll be better off sticking to annuals.
Non-legumes include all other
types of cover crops, notably
grains and crucifers (the latter of which are members of the same
family as cabbage and mustard). While legumes can make their own
nitrogen and act as quick fertilizers for the soil, non-legumes make
more organic matter and enrich the soil longer-term.
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