Winter prep - Knowledgebase Question

wauconda, Il
Question by Darma1223
October 22, 2010
Iwas wondering if Cover Crop, Hairy Vetch
is better than leaves to cover garden. I am trying tot have to use mulch this year I have been crunling leaves but want to do whats best to protect from wintwe in Illinois!
Thanks
Robin


Image
Answer from NGA
October 22, 2010

0

Hairy vetch not only helps to keep winter weeds from sprouting, its roots grow deep down into the soil, helping to loosen it. And, as a legume, hairy vetch fixes nitrogen in the soil. So the benefits of hairy vetch far outweigh those of shredded leaves in terms of developing healthy soil. There's a little more work involved, though. You'll need to hoe or cut the hairy vetch down and till it into the soil before you plant in the spring. If you have a choice, plant hairy vetch in your garden.

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