In South Florida our “off-season” is June thru September as the summer months are too hot and humid for most plants to thrive. So for us, this is mainly soil preparation time! After completing the harvesting of our Spring plantings, we allow the soil to rest for a few weeks and then begin planting our cover crops. Of course, we research and plan ahead during the Spring so we have our seeds ready.
Cover crops are any of a wide variety of plants which are planted in the off-season in order to enrich the soil for the coming new growing season. There are many functions that cover crops perform:
We are limited in our choices for cover crops as they must be able to withstand South Florida’s subtropical climate. Some of our choices include the following:
Cover crops are an important ingredient for the gardener who wishes to grow food using sustainable and organic methods. The introduction of the decaying matter into the soil produces microbes which improve the soil’s ability to absorb nutrients, a benefit which cannot be overstated. Soil is a living organism that needs a wide variety of life in the way of minerals, bacteria and microbes in order to provide optimum growing conditions.
For extensive information on cover crops:
Good source for purchasing cover crop seeds:
Written by J.K. Photos by D.K. and C.G.