Quick Turnaround Cover Crops for Horticulture — Update 2014

Published Dec 5, 2014

Fruit and Vegetable farmers use cover crops to improve nutrient cycling and control weeds for increased production efficiency. Summer cover crops can be challenge due to dry conditions. Four farms evaluated summer cover crops to determine aboveground biomass production, carbon and nitrogen produced, effects on subsequent cash crop germination and effects on subsequent weed seed germination.


  • Summer-seeded cover crops produced between 192 and 14,157 lb of biomass per acre across the farms. Species selection, location and days of cover crop growth tended to dictate biomass production.
  • Not surprisingly, legume species contained more N than nonlegumes, though buckwheat also tended to contain a large amount of N.