Cover Crops just one method
Growing cover crops is one way to improve soil fertility. These plants are not harvested – just grown for soil improvement. Legume cover crops, such as alfalfa or peas, also called green manures, transform nitrogen from the air into a form plants can use. Other crops (such as oats and buckwheat) add organic matter, take up soluble nutrients (to reduce nutrient leaching), or reduce soil erosion.
Manure – Natures Gold!
Manure is an important source of nutrients on organic farms. Manure is usually composted before application and must reach at least 55C for 4 consecutive days to destroy pathogens and weed seeds. If not composted manure must be incorporated into the soil at least 90-120 days before harvest, depending on the crops being grown.
Images provided by Laura Berman GreenFuse Photography.