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Cover Crops for the Garden

By GrowOrganic.com on September 19, 2014

In this video, Tricia will show you how to plant green manure, or cover crops, in your vegetable garden.

  Comments (12)


We planted cover crops in our raised beds. It is about 6-8” tall. Do we turn it over and work into the soil in March ready for late April, May planting?  do we cut down the height first?

Posted by Derek on Mar. 12, 2017 at 5:58:04 AM

Derek, When your cover crops start to flower you can cut them down. I have found if you cut with a weed eater is really fast and I start at the top and cut in small chunks so it is easier to turn under and break down faster. You can either turn it under with a fork or lay some black plastic or compost cover over it to speed up the break down, then before you are ready to plant, turn it under.

Posted by Suzanne at GrowOrganic.com on Mar. 14, 2017 at 5:00:17 PM


I have a 10 x 10 raised bed for growing vegetables and need to restore the soil.  How much of the premium soil builder mix cover crop rhizopiume bacteria inoculant do I need to buy for this bed?

Thank you for your help, Gerri

Posted by Gerri on Aug. 04, 2017 at 12:09:31 PM

Gerri, you should be ok with one pound and the smallest bag we sell of the inoculant treats up to 8 lbs of seed, so you will have some left over. But you can use it to inoculate your summer beans as well.

Posted by Suzanne at GrowOrganic.com on Aug. 04, 2017 at 12:41:02 PM


Hi Suzanne what is the correct name of the inoculant I need to buy for the premium soil builder mix?

Posted by Gerri on Aug. 04, 2017 at 2:07:47 PM

Gerri, it is Garden Combination Inoculant. It is listed on the product description for the premium soil builder mix.

Posted by Suzanne at GrowOrganic.com on Aug. 04, 2017 at 2:42:52 PM


the video said cover the seed with soil and mulch. what type of mulch?

Posted by Scarlette on Aug. 17, 2017 at 1:13:31 PM

Scarlette, you can use compost mixed with soil. Or if you are just covering with soil, I like to use a very light layer of straw. It needs to be light enough that the seeds can push through it.

Posted by Suzanne at GrowOrganic.com on Aug. 18, 2017 at 9:21:16 AM


Is there one cover crop that is best for raised beds that are used for vegetables?

Posted by Gwen Eymann on Aug. 21, 2017 at 1:10:58 PM

Gwen, there is not a specific cover crop for raised beds. I think the Premium Soil Builder mix is the best overall cover crop to put into the garden. It adds organic matter, breaks up the soil and the legumes in it fixes nitrogen. You can use it in a raised bed or in a non-raised garden.

Posted by Suzanne at GrowOrganic.com on Aug. 23, 2017 at 8:53:49 AM


What kind of nitrogen fixating summer cover crop would you recommend for alkaline black land prairie in zone 8-9? Thank you.

Posted by Frances on May. 10, 2018 at 9:26:42 AM

Frances, based on the limited information about your usage and growing conditions, a good bet would be cowpeas. We sell raw red cowpeas that would need to be inoculated with the appropriate culture of nitrogen-fixing Rhizobium bacteria (if you want nitrogen fixing). The warm-season legume is setting seed in as little as 60 days but does need some summer irrigation.

Posted by Suzanne at GrowOrganic.com on May. 14, 2018 at 2:02:27 PM

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