Cover Crops/Green Manures
Cover crops are plants that are planted to cover the soil rather than for the purpose of being harvested. Cover crops manage soil erosion, soil fertility, soil quality, water, weeds, pests, diseases, biodiversity;
•Improving soil structure and increasing infiltration, protecting the soil surface; Dense cover crop physically slow down the velocity of rainfall before it contacts the soil surface, preventing soil splashing and runoff
•Increased organic matter over time enhances soil structure as well as the water and nutrient holding and buffering capacity of soil. It can also lead to increased soil carbon sequestration
•💦Contain a large amount of moisture. When the cover crop is incorporated into the soil, or left on the soil surface, it increases soil moisture; in addition they can be used as a mulch to conserve water by shading and cooling the soil surface. This reduces evaporation.
•Weeds? Cover crops can prevent most germinated weed seeds from completing their life cycle and reproducing. even when weed seeds germinate, they often run out of stored energy for growth before building the necessary structural capacity to break through the cover crop mulch layer
Green Manure a crop specifically produced to be mixed into the soil while still green(alive). Typically incorporated with a plow or tiller. The main function is to add organic matter the soil for fertility. Green manuring is often used with legume(beans, alfalfa, etc) crops to add nitrogen to the soil especially in organic farming. The stalks left block the soil from being eroded. = soil fertility.