A $0.75 Cover Crop


Right now I have a few summer crops growing: okra, basil, yard long beans, eggplant, pink-eyed purple- hulled peas, and cherry tomatoes. However, my soil is in desperate need of replenishing, so I decided to plant the bare spots with nitrogen-fixing legumes.


I found this bag of pinto beans at the grocery store and decided to plant them as a cover crop.


I’ve already got some popping up! Hopefully they will fix nitrogen in the soil, shade out summer weeds, and provide good organic matter for the soil. The plan is for them to be tilled under around the beginning of September, then to let them set and compost in place for a few weeks, then to plant my fall garden. Growing beans from the grocery store – what an inexpensive way to plant a cover crop!


5 responses »

  1. What an interesting idea! I did not know this but will certainly keep it in mind if needed. You always have so much to offer. Thank you! By the way, how did you know the soil was lacking nitrogen?

    • My soil is quite sandy to begin with, but I feel like my yields this summer have been much smaller than last year’s. The main benefit of tilling in the cover crop is for the organic matter, but the extra nitrogen will help my leafy crops: kale, collards, mustard greens, etc. I did not have a test done, but I really should have that done soon.

  2. Pingback: North Florida Gardening: August To-Do List | Coffee to Compost

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