What are cover crops you might ask! Well I just found out myself, not too long ago, so let me inform you.
We wanted to grow some crops in this small patch field, and since there hasn't been anything growing in this area for a while, we decided to plant some cover crops first. We plant cover crops between every harvest to add organic matter, nutrients, manage erosion, get rid of pests, disease and weeds. Cover crops grow after we fertilize the ground with the certain crops and turn over the soil.
The seeds we used for cover crops were: hairy vetch(wild legume), crimpson clover and yellow mustard seed. The reason we used these crops, is because they are nitrogen fixing plants(video), and help feed microbes, add nutrients and make the soil moist. Additionally, they are allopathic, permitting any unwanted weeds or plants, that could rob the nutrients from the main crops growing.
I secretively like looking at the different seeds, feeling their textures and taken in their odd aromas. Though it is NOT good to breathe in some fertilizers and seeds. For example, these were coated in sulfur, and our body goes through a chemical reaction once we come in contact and inhale it, that it can effect our eyes, lungs and body.
After we evenly scattered the seeds above on the ground it was time to turn over the soil with the Tiller. This machine was used before to make rows into the soil, and now used to break up, mix and push the seeds into the ground. After the whole surface of the ground was mixed, it was time to water baby! Then again, once the crops grow and become tall enough, we will till the soil. Following that, we will wait for the plants decompose, and then plant more crops for harvest.
This project opened my eyes and made me appreciate how much our soil can impact our crops and also us. Depleted soil can lead to not so fruitful crops and lower nutrients, therefore using cover crops and turning over the soil has the reverse affect.
This also made me realize how I use this practice in my life, but in another light. I really care for my body, especially my hair. I wash it with shampoo and conditioner often, but every now and then I will deep condition it. Therefore adding nutrients, repairing the follicle damage and strengthening my hair, just like with tilling the soil for the benefit of the soil and future crops.
I’m a Nutrition major from Texas A&M, graduating in December. I’m a spunky, fun, and bubbly gal who spontaneously try’s new things. Throughout my college career I was involved in: starting up a fitness club, interned for a Nationally recognized Registered Dietitian, a Congressman in D.C., and now a local farm. I also currently make food for our Astronauts, and have joined the Texas A&M Sports Car, Water Skiing, and Polo clubs just to name a few.