Our Winter Cover Crops

Earlier in the winter season, cover crops were planted in several beds here at the Cherry Hill Urban Garden. Also known as ‘green manure’, cover crops play a vital role in maintaining soil’s health. They are especially useful because they can be planted during the colder months when other crops are not growing and they do not require much care. According to Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, cover crops are great for:

  • Suppressing weeds
  • Protecting soil from rain or runoff
  • Improving soil aggregate stability
  • Reducing surface crusting
  • Adding active organic matter to soil
  • Breaking hardpan
  • Fixing nitrogen
  • Scavenging soil nitrogen
  • Suppressing soil diseases and pests

In simple terms, cover crops are a natural way to fertilize soil, just like manure. Thankfully, cover crops are more pleasant to the eye and the nose.

Here are some pictures of the similar-looking cover crops planted at our garden.covercrop1Photo Credit: Out Standing in the Garden

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