Planting a cover crop is a wonderful way to maintain and improve the soil. With an empty bed, the wind, rain, and melting snow will erode as much as 20% of the soil I've worked so hard to build. A cover crop will not only hold the soil in place, but will provide a rich "green manure" to work into the soil in the spring. I like winter rye, because it will winter over and re-grow in the spring, and when worked into the soil will decompose and give back nutrients and improve the soils ability to maintain moisture all summer long.
Here is my Three Minute Method:
- Pull out all plant material from garden bed
- Throw hand-fulls of rye seed onto bed
- Rake in seeds
- Tamp seeds down with rake
- Wait for rain or moisture in the soil to sprout seeds