The Q&A Archives: Winter Cover Crop

Question: I have a fairly large raised garden, that I do not use chemicals or herbicides in. I want to know your recommendations for a winter cover crop that will keep the weed level down over the winter in the wet Pacific Northwest. Every spring it will take me about a month to weed the garden before the planting process can start. This is all done by hand/hoe and is very laborous.

Answer: Cover crops are good for many reasons; they crowd out weeds, they slow or stop soil erosion, and most are tilled (or dug) in at the end of the season, enriching the soil. Some fall planted cover crop recommendations for the Pacific Northwest include crimson clover, winter wheat and hairy vetch.

Be sure to dig your cover crop into the soil before it flowers and sets seed, or it will come up again, right along side your veggies!

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