After the warm season planting, the soils of fall gardens can often be depleted of nutrients. At this month’s Organic Gardening 101 class at North Florida Community College’s Green Industries Institute, Oct. 22 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., participants will learn how to correct this problem using cover crops.
“In this month’s class we’ll be discussing which cover crops are right for the season and for your soil,” said Claire Mitchell, Sustainable Agriculture Programs Manager at Green Industries Institute. “No matter how poor your soil is, it can always be improved through organic methods like cover cropping, and your soil will become richer and richer after each season.”
Cover crops, also called catch crops or green manures, are inedible ground covers that farmers and gardeners can plant instead of overworking the soil or letting the soil lie fallow. Different cover crops have different properties to improve the soil, whether it’s increasing nitrogen content, preventing topsoil erosion, or crowding out weeds before they take over.
Using cover crops allow gardeners a way to grow their compost in the field or garden, instead of making it or buying it. When cover crops are mowed or killed back by frost, the dead plant material creates mulch that keeps the soil moist and reduces weeds, and it also decomposes in place which adds organic material to the soil.
Organic Gardening 101: Cover Cropping will take place on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at Green Industries Institute in Monticello, located at 2729 W Washington St on Highway 90, three miles west of downtown Monticello. The cost of the class is $25, and participants are asked to pre-register on the website at www.nfcc.edu/green-industries. For more information, please call (850) 973-1701 or email Claire Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org.