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Protecting soil in winter
The best cover crops
for planting now are those that grow quickly in cool weather. Some will
winter over and start growing again next spring. Others will be killed
by cold weather but will have enough root and top growth to hold the
soil in place during the winter. These two types require different
management next year, so it's important to figure out how the cover crop
fits into your spring planting schedule. Here are some of the
considerations for cover crops to plant now.
Johnny's Fall Green Manure Mix
contains winter rye, hairy vetch, field peas, crimson clover and
ryegrass. The winter rye and hairy vetch are hardy and will grow rapidly
in spring. The field peas, clover, and ryegrass will winter kill in the
Oats, field peas and oilseed radish are cold-tolerant, but will be
killed by a hard freeze. They are easy to incorporate in spring.
can be planted latest of all the fall cover crops and it will
overwinter. It will start growing early next year and need to be tilled
in before it produces seed.
To help you choose the cover crops that are best for your farm, we recommend our free Cover Crop Comparison chart
and the book Managing Cover Crops Profitably, which is available in print from Johnny’s or can be downloaded free from the SARE website. www.sare.org/publications/covercrops/covercrops.pdf• Subscribe to Growing for
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Reprinted from JSS Advantage September 2010