Row by Row Episode 173: What You Need To Know About Cover Crops

Dr. Glen Harris with the University of Georgia is back!! Tonight, he and Greg get into the data behind cover crops, the importance of the organic matter, why you should be concerned with it, and much more!

Research Project from UGA

The study measures the biomass of four cover crops planted Nov. 1 and the nitrogen available to the following crop.

https://www.farmprogress.com/cover-crops/measuring-mass-nitrogen-benefit-four-early-cover-crops

Importance of Organic Matter in Soil

Two of the biggest benefits of having the organic matter in your soil are to aid in holding water and nutrients, two of the things you need for plants to grow, besides sunlight. “If you can get your hands on good compost, man, get it in your garden”, Greg says. If you don’t have access to getting good compost, a good cover crop or a mixture of cover crops is the way to go.

What is Cation Exchange Capacity in Soil?

Cation exchange capacity is the total capacity of soil to hold exchangeable cations. Dr. Glen Harris states, “Soils have a net negative charge, the negative charges come from clay and organic matter. They hold a lot of the positive things in your soil. The more clay and organic matter you have, the better your soil will be at holding the cations.”

Cover Crops

Rye is typically a cool-season cover crop is a great suppressor of weeds, adds organic matter into the soil, reduces erosion, and works to scavenge nitrogen. Clover cover crops improve nitrogen-fixation, a great ground cover, and the clovers make a great crop to have before planting vegetables. Tillage Radish is one of the best cover crops for improving soil quality and reducing soil pest pressure. Hairy Vetch is a cool-season cover crop that fixes a significant amount of nitrogen, in addition to reducing erosion and providing weed suppression for garden soils. Check out all of our Cover Crops here.

Products of the Week:

Cover Crops

Vermiculite

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