It’s so important to feed your soil after a whole year of taking nutrients out with your harvests. I’ve found it makes a huge difference in the next years harvest and plant health to cover crop. Get some cover crop seeds from your local nursery. A mix of at leat 3 varieties is best. Here’s how I do it:
Once you have cleared out your vegetable bed, loosen up the top couple of inches of soil with a rake and water well. Leave overnight. The next day, scatter the seeds evenly over the bed, toss about an inch of soil on top and water well. Protect the seeds from birds with bird netting or floating row cover until they sprout (keeps the cats out too.) Hopefully it will be raining by this time so watering will take care of itself.
Count back 6 weeks from when you want to start planting the bed with spring crops and turn the cover crop in. Or, wait until about 25% of the plants are flowering, but not longer as you don’t want to be weeding out seedlings all summer. Fork the plants over and toss some soil on top, you don’t need to dig deeply and disturb the soil layers. Keep watering and the green plants will compost nicely and make a huge difference in the health of your crops and harvests! Happy gardening…