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Benefits of Cover Crops in Urban Farms and Gardens


November 6, 2019 - Abigail Harper and <>,

An empty vegetable bed or bare field is the perfect time to plant a cover crop. Cover crops are plants grown to improve soil quality, rather than for harvest and sale. These crops are planted in areas that will not be used for food production for a period of at least four weeks to an entire season. Cover crops provide environmental benefits and build soil quality, which ultimately improve crop productivity.

Cover crops are useful to all farms, regardless of their size, and can help address challenges unique to urban growers. The roots, stems and flowers from these plants will benefit the soil in the short and long term. The table below will assist you to identify soil challenges common in urban areas and some of the ways cover crops can help address the problem.

Other Urban Cover Crops Resources:






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