The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Cover crop

Cover crops are plants purposely sown in the garden to improve the soil's fertility, to fight weeds, to prevent erosion, and to keep the ecosystem in balance.  These crops are sometimes known as "green manure," especially if the plants are tilled into the soil.  Here, I'll be considering cover crops that can be managed without tilling in.

Check out the links below to read about my experiments over the last few years, or dive deep in Homegrown Humus to get my recommendations all summed up in one place.  Either way, I urge you to start growing cover crops in your garden this year for darker, richer soil and more vegetables.

Planting cover crops between fruit trees
Posted Mon Sep 19 11:56:14 2022 by Anna
Fall 2022 cover crop experiments
Posted Mon Sep 5 16:14:09 2022 by Anna
Homegrown Humus free (and garden update)
Posted Tue Mar 17 14:25:46 2020 by Anna
Cover crops at last
Posted Tue Aug 7 06:00:33 2018 by Anna
Summer cover crops in winter
Posted Sat Oct 15 07:41:03 2016 by Anna
Cover cropping in the Pacific Northwest
Posted Thu Oct 13 07:00:57 2016 by Anna
Cover crops in a Back to Eden garden
Posted Fri Oct 7 07:41:24 2016 by Anna
Warm-winter cover-crop question
Posted Wed Oct 5 07:15:59 2016 by Anna
Thanks to the rain
Posted Sat Sep 24 07:37:08 2016 by Anna
Last week of oats
Posted Fri Sep 16 07:25:31 2016 by Anna
Transitioning to summer cover crops
Posted Thu May 12 06:17:57 2016 by Anna
Types of oats
Posted Tue Jan 12 07:26:00 2016 by Anna
Lawn cropping
Posted Mon Nov 9 07:11:40 2015 by Anna
Threshing and winnowing soybeans
Posted Mon Sep 28 07:37:39 2015 by Anna
Perfect September days
Posted Thu Sep 24 06:08:12 2015 by Anna
One last round of oat planting
Posted Tue Sep 15 07:09:32 2015 by Anna
Chicks and oats and sweet potatoes
Posted Thu Sep 10 06:43:10 2015 by Anna
Incorporating soybeans into the homestead
Posted Mon Sep 7 07:25:31 2015 by Anna
When to plant a garden in zones
Posted Thu Aug 20 07:15:48 2015 by Anna
Tithonia, soybeans, and goats
Posted Wed Aug 19 07:11:56 2015 by Anna
Early August goat update
Posted Wed Aug 5 06:14:55 2015 by Anna
Sunday Sunflower
Posted Sun Aug 2 15:10:27 2015 by mark
Cut-and-come-again cover-crop experiments
Posted Wed Jul 22 07:15:12 2015 by Anna
4 things I don't talk about
Posted Mon Jul 13 05:38:47 2015 by Anna
Fourth of July garden
Posted Sat Jul 4 07:42:55 2015 by Anna
Alfalfa, barley, soybeans, and other summer cover crop experiments
Posted Fri Jun 12 07:02:06 2015 by Anna
Tithonia diversifolia
Posted Thu Apr 30 07:44:04 2015 by Anna
Garden solarization
Posted Fri Apr 24 06:59:21 2015 by Anna
More new cover crops to try
Posted Sun Mar 29 07:42:18 2015 by Anna
What will we do when we run out of honeysuckle?
Posted Mon Dec 22 07:59:47 2014 by Anna
And does eat oats
Posted Thu Dec 11 07:47:20 2014 by Anna
Improving our mulching system
Posted Fri Dec 5 05:57:34 2014 by Anna
Feeding oilseed radishes to goats
Posted Sat Nov 15 07:35:54 2014 by Anna
Late-fall cover-crop observations
Posted Tue Oct 21 07:28:10 2014 by Anna
Cover crops, fences, and goats
Posted Mon Oct 13 07:34:49 2014 by Anna
Mixing fava beans with other cover crops
Posted Sun Oct 5 07:00:09 2014 by Anna
Cutting oat cover crops for mulch
Posted Wed Oct 1 07:00:11 2014 by Anna
A busy time for cover crops
Posted Thu Sep 11 07:24:50 2014 by Anna
Carbon sinks on the homestead
Posted Sat Aug 30 07:36:30 2014 by Anna
Two bean cover crops
Posted Fri Aug 29 07:39:24 2014 by Anna
Scarlet runner beans
Posted Sun Aug 24 08:02:01 2014 by Anna
Fall 2014 cover-crop experiments
Posted Tue Aug 19 07:32:05 2014 by Anna
August is the time for oats
Posted Sat Aug 2 07:05:48 2014 by Anna
Cut-rate daikon radishes?
Posted Tue Nov 12 07:41:02 2013 by Anna
50 pounds of rye
Posted Mon Nov 4 07:07:12 2013 by Anna
Digging the carrots early
Posted Thu Oct 24 07:47:56 2013 by Anna
Planting oats too early
Posted Sat Sep 28 07:23:47 2013 by Anna
Sunn hemp
Posted Tue Sep 17 07:28:14 2013 by Anna
Sweet potato cover crop
Posted Thu Sep 12 08:11:20 2013 by Anna
Experimental summer cover crops
Posted Mon Jul 22 07:17:00 2013 by Anna
Summer 2013 cover crop experiments
Posted Tue Jul 2 07:32:32 2013 by Anna
Planning ahead for subirrigated tomatoes
Posted Tue May 28 06:54:28 2013 by Anna
Rye cover crop cutting
Posted Mon May 27 15:44:30 2013 by mark
Buckwheat challenge
Posted Wed May 1 07:46:25 2013 by Anna
How can you mow a cover crop then plant into it?
Posted Tue Apr 23 08:02:24 2013 by Anna
Rye cover crop in the spring
Posted Mon Apr 22 07:45:36 2013 by Anna
Fitting cover crops into the garden ecosystem
Posted Fri Jan 25 12:01:23 2013 by Anna
Killing cover crops in a no-till garden
Posted Thu Jan 24 12:00:34 2013 by Anna
Choosing the best type of cover crop
Posted Wed Jan 23 12:01:25 2013 by Anna
Why cover crops?
Posted Mon Jan 21 12:00:22 2013 by Anna
Homegrown Humus
Posted Wed Jan 16 08:01:31 2013 by Anna
Oilseed radishes decline early in 2012
Posted Thu Dec 13 07:28:02 2012 by Anna
Winter rye cover crop
Posted Mon Nov 19 08:01:12 2012 by Anna
Fall mulching in the forest garden
Posted Wed Oct 24 06:47:30 2012 by Anna
Rye as a no-till cover crop
Posted Tue Oct 23 07:56:13 2012 by Anna
Oilseed radishes
Posted Fri Sep 7 07:40:33 2012 by Anna
Adding organic matter with oilseed radishes
Posted Wed Aug 15 07:00:58 2012 by Anna
NGPRL's Cover Crop Chart
Posted Thu Jul 26 06:53:37 2012 by Anna
Taking apart a temporary kill mulch
Posted Fri Jun 29 06:47:21 2012 by Anna
Kill-mulching annual ryegrass
Posted Mon May 28 06:36:20 2012 by Anna
Rye cover crop
Posted Sun May 13 07:57:11 2012 by Anna
Dallefeld on cover crops
Posted Tue Apr 10 12:14:14 2012 by Anna
Spring weeding quick fix
Posted Sat Mar 24 07:54:34 2012 by Anna
Flooded (t)in
Posted Sun Mar 4 08:04:01 2012 by Anna
Green manure rejuvenates poor soil
Posted Tue Feb 28 12:00:55 2012 by Anna
Annual ryegrass cover crop
Posted Mon Feb 27 08:07:51 2012 by Anna
Rotting oilseed radishes
Posted Thu Feb 9 08:13:20 2012 by Anna
Easy soil building with cover crops
Posted Fri Dec 9 06:01:33 2011 by Anna
Austrian winter peas
Posted Sat Nov 19 08:47:36 2011 by Anna
When to plant winter cover crops
Posted Fri Nov 18 07:34:59 2011 by Anna
Building soil
Posted Tue Oct 25 08:16:17 2011 by Anna
Cover crop questions
Posted Mon Sep 26 07:42:40 2011 by Anna
Last call for oats
Posted Tue Sep 13 07:00:33 2011 by Anna
Grow your own straw mulch
Posted Fri Sep 2 07:00:52 2011 by Anna
Cowpeas as a no-till summer cover crop
Posted Sat Aug 27 08:10:16 2011 by Anna
Filling garden gaps with cover crops
Posted Thu Aug 25 07:15:03 2011 by Anna
Back to back summer cover crops
Posted Wed Aug 10 06:45:17 2011 by Anna
No-till, winter cover crops
Posted Mon Aug 8 07:59:48 2011 by Anna
Quick summer cover crop: Cowpeas and buckwheat
Posted Sun Jul 31 08:43:09 2011 by Anna
Rest period after cutting cover crops
Posted Fri Jul 29 08:20:13 2011 by Anna
How to kill no-till cover crops
Posted Thu Jun 30 07:17:37 2011 by Anna
Mow- and smother-kill cover crops
Posted Mon May 2 07:43:14 2011 by Anna
Crimson clover
Posted Wed Apr 27 06:21:02 2011 by Anna
Cutting barley and ryegrass cover crops
Posted Sun Mar 27 10:06:57 2011 by Anna
Cover crops in March
Posted Wed Mar 23 07:50:03 2011 by Anna
Planting spring cover crops
Posted Sat Feb 26 08:05:37 2011 by Anna
Spring cover crops
Posted Fri Jan 28 08:37:08 2011 by Anna
Winterkill of cover crops in zone 6
Posted Thu Jan 27 08:08:55 2011 by Anna
No-till cover crop experiments
Posted Wed Jan 5 12:00:29 2011 by Anna
Free sources of garden mulch
Posted Wed Nov 24 11:00:51 2010 by Anna
Buckwheat and oat cover crops as a mulch
Posted Tue Nov 16 08:38:12 2010 by Anna
Patchwork quilt garden
Posted Wed Nov 3 07:00:59 2010 by Anna
Late fall cover crops
Posted Sat Oct 23 07:00:22 2010 by Anna
Cutting buckwheat with a hedge trimmer
Posted Thu Oct 14 07:00:24 2010 by Anna
Autumn cover crops
Posted Thu Sep 30 07:24:04 2010 by Anna
Radish cover crop
Posted Thu Sep 2 08:14:58 2010 by Anna
Oat cover crop
Posted Mon Aug 23 07:57:42 2010 by Anna
Buckwheat cover crop
Posted Thu Jul 29 07:59:50 2010 by Anna
No-till cover crop
Posted Tue Jul 6 08:27:35 2010 by Anna
Followup on no-till "cover crop"
Posted Thu Jul 23 07:37:12 2009 by Anna
Experiments with no-till raised beds
Posted Tue Jul 14 07:29:27 2009 by Anna

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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