Cover Crops

Add back to the soil what we take out, and protect the soil from driving wind or water. Cover crops are the green manures in crop rotation. Plant them for organic matter and nitrogen, for erosion control, for weed control, for loosening compaction and improving tilth. Don't stop with these offerings. There are many cover crops - oats, pinto beans, barley. (The photo above is buckwheat - most vigorous warm weather cover crop.)  And mixing cover crops for different contributions to the soil is very helpful, for example using winter rye and hairy vetch together. Cover the earth!
Annual Ryegrass Quick shop
Annual Ryegrass
Plants of the Southwest

Annual Ryegrass

$ 3.50

Best adapted to moist regions with mild winters and cool summers. This coarse grass tolerates partial shade, some traffic & a wide range of soils. Good cover crop, good forage. Can persist & be too competitive with excess water. Sow in late spring for a summer cover crop. 1 lb. per 1,000 sq. ft.

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Binder Quick shop
Binder
Plants of the Southwest

Binder

$ 3.00

A natural glue made from plant material, binder holds seeds and mulch in place; especially helpful in windblown or sloped areas. Broadcast seed, mulch and binder together, or sprinkle binder on top of the mulch that is covering the seed, then water to make the binder gluey. Also holds moisture and will help give good resuilts on flat areas. Coverage rate: 2 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. for flat areas, more according to the steepness of slope or exposure to wind.

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Buckwheat Quick shop
Buckwheat
Plants of the Southwest

Buckwheat

$ 3.50

An aggressive plant if kept well watered; assists in weed control, tolerates poor soil & makes phosphates available. Needs warm soil to germinate. Sow in late spring for a summer cover crop. Good bee plant making a strong, dark honey. 1-2 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft.

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Daikon Radish Quick shop
Daikon Radish
Plants Of The Southwest

Daikon Radish

$ 3.25

Mild flavored, very large white radish.  Fukuoka's favorite for penetrating and improving tough soils.  Sow after frost.  Keep well watered for veggie use.  For breaking compaction water best you can.  2 lbs. per 1,000 square feet.
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Field Peas Quick shop
Field Peas
Plants of the Southwest

Field Peas

$ 3.25

Sow this nitrogen-fixing legume in early spring for vigorous growth. May be turned in late spring or left to improve the soil throughout the season. Alkaline tolerant. Field peas are a good fodder, but not tasty to us. 2-3 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft.

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Hairy Vetch Quick shop
Hairy Vetch
Plants of the Southwest

Hairy Vetch

$ 4.50

Adaptable, perennial nitrogen-fixing legume. Plant early fall to establish before cold weather. Puts on most growth in late spring. 2-3 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft.

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Quick shop
Plants of the Southwest

Ladak Alfalfa

$ 7.50

Deeprooted legume. A top dryland and harsh soil performer. Loved by bees. 1/4 lb. per 1,000 sq. ft.
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Medium Red Clover Quick shop
Medium Red Clover
Plants Of The Southwest

Medium Red Clover

$ 6.00

Nitrogen fixing biennial cover crop, great as companion plant to grains, grasses, vegetables. Suppresses weeds, good insectary, adaptable to various soils and climates.  Can be overseeded into standing crops, 10-12 pounds per acre.

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Sainfoin Quick shop
Sainfoin
Plants Of The Southwest

Sainfoin

$ 4.50

Perennial nitrogen-fixing legume.  Takes poor soils and some drought.  Sow in fall, winter or early spring for spring germination.  May be tilled under at any point, used as hay or forage.  Does not cause bloat!  Beautiful pink flowers, loved by bees.  2-3 pounds per 1,000 square feet.

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Strawberry Clover Quick shop
Strawberry Clover
Plants of the Southwest

Strawberry Clover

$ 15.40

A foot-tall perennial, nitrogen-fixing legume, with little pink flowers that look like strawberries. The stems trail along the ground making a springy turf, & then lie down in winter. Fairly drought & alkaline tolerant. Sow in spring; once established, twice a month watering should do. 1/4 lb. per 1,000 sq. ft.

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White Dutch Clover Quick shop
White Dutch Clover
Plants of the Southwest

White Dutch Clover

$ 7.00

Shallow-rooted perennial whose creeping stems root in all directions. Relished by livestock. Provides erosion control & soil improvement. Abundant flowers attractive to bees. Sow in late spring for a summer cover crop. Needs 30" of precipitation. 1/2 lb. per 1,000 sq. ft.

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Winter Rye Quick shop
Winter Rye
Winter Rye
Winter Rye
Plants of the Southwest

Winter Rye

$ 3.25

Planted in autumn, this grass can grow to 4 ft. in spring. Till in before stems grow stiff & difficult to till. This is a high production plant tolerant of poor soils. 2 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft.

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Winter Wheat Quick shop
Winter Wheat
Plants of the Southwest

Winter Wheat

$ 3.25

The grain that made the Midwest our breadbasket. A winter annual that germinates in autumn, overwinters as a seedling & although dormant in the winter provides soil stabilization. Mature height is about 2 ft. Allow plants to go to seed if you want the grain or turn under beforehand if your intent is organic soil improvement. 2 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft.

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