Good crop cover for backyard flower garden #285126 - Ask Extension

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Good crop cover for backyard flower garden #285126

Asked October 16, 2015, 12:37 PM EDT

Hi I'm. A beginning gardener. My soil is clay, so I added dairy compost and also rotatilled before and after. I want to cover my soil for the winter. Any suggestions? Thank you Cathy Smiley

Washington County Oregon

Expert Response

One of the very best things you can do (and this is the perfect time of year to do it) is to seed crimson clover very heavily in your garden beds. It will protect the soil, suppress weeds, and fortify your soil with nitrogen come spring. Crimson clover seed is available at most garden shops, usually in bulk. Again, seed quite heavily and keep the seeds moist until they sprout. Come spring when the clover flowers, immediately chop it into the soil (do not let it go to seed)and incorporate it into your soil using a hoe or fork. Do not discard the cuttings - the actual plant material supplies the nitrogen. Wait 2 weeks before planting anything new. Your soil will be rich and loose and will be glad you did it!
Hilary Hutler Replied October 16, 2015, 8:34 PM EDT

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