Winter prep - Knowledgebase Question

wauconda, Il
Avatar for Darma1223
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
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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