Annual cool weather legumes are planted in the fall. In warm winter climates, can be planted through February if irrigated, however, vetches need to establish early and should be seeded at the beginning of fall. If desired, plant them with grains (oats, barley, or rye) which support their upright vining growth and act as a nurse crop.
What are the benefits of cover crops?
Increases organic matter and available nitrogen
Increases earthworms and beneficial microorganisms
Stabilizes soil to prevent erosion
Brings deep-rooted minerals to the surface
Improves water, root and air penetration of soil
Increases the soil’s moisture-holding capacity
Breaks up subsoil and plow-soles
Provides aesthetic value and color
Provides habitat, nectar, and pollen for beneficial insects while choking out weeds