My inherited cover crop is a mix of vetch (a legume distantly related to peas and lentils) and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye).
beautiful winter cover crop!
Cover crops serve many functions on a farm. The roots of the plants help to prevent soil erosion. The plants take up space and elbow out unwanted weeds. They also trap nutrients that would otherwise leach away during our winter rainfalls. In addition, legumes like vetch, field peas, and clover actually "fix" nitrogen in the soil. Fixing nitrogen means they grab nitrogen from the atmosphere and move it into in the soil so other plants can use it. Essentially, they're making plant food out of thin air!
|Clover is another popular nitrogen-fixing cover crop.|
Cover cropping is one of easiest and most exciting methods of sustainable farming. I'm sure I'll be writing more about it in future posts!