Cover crops can be defined as any type of grass, legume or forb that’s grown specifically to benefit the soil, water, and surrounding ecosystem. These crops are usually grown during the offseason, but can be used within the regular growing season. They are usually not harvested for sale. An ideal cover crop is quick to establish and yields high amounts of biomass. A cover crop becomes a green manure as soon as it’s plowed under or worked into the soil.
There are many reasons why a farmer, gardener, or landowner would want to plant a cover crop: