Cover crops are essential over the summer months in sustainable agriculture systems.Learn about 3 multi-use summer cover crops for your vegetable garden with Elise Pickett of The Urban Harvest. Using sweet potatoes, cowpea beans, & new zealand spinach as a sustainable cover crop will protect your soil from a range of issues all while providing you with maintenance free food over the growing season. Permaculture principles suggest we should always try to have more than one use for a plant and these three certainly fit that description! Using organic, sustainable, & budget-friendly techniques you will learn all about 3 different summer cover crops so you can grow your own productive Florida backyard vegetable garden. This easy how to home gardening lesson will get even the beginner gardener to feel ready to grow vegetables in Florida.

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Summer Cover Crops for Florida Vegetable Gardening

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  • Brian Pulsifer

    I’ve never heard somebody suggest we not grow in summer in Florida. Maybe mid-summer isn’t the best time to start a garden, but I’ve grown a full garden from April well into October. Okra does stupendous, peppers get a little wilty, but they produce, tomatoes do fine. Obviously lettuce, spinach, and any other cool season crops are a no-go. Half the “cover crops” you mentioned are just summer crops. I was thinking you were going to suggest buckwheat, clover, or vetch.

  • Dennis Keyes

    What do you do with the leftover plant after harvest in a no-till garden? Pull it out by the roots or chop and drop? Any preparation before replanting in harvested bed? I have raised beds in SW Fl.

  • Ludmila Dunchyk

    Hi, I am planning my first garden and I have a concern that raccoons and rabbits will come and feast on my veggies and all my hard work will be wasted. Do you have an issue with this or can you give any advice on how to deal with it?

  • Odi varela

    Hi just found you page and I want to make my first raised bed what should I plant today that I can eat soon I was thinking butternut squash zucchini potato spinach lettuce radish but You’re saying grow cowpeas sweet potatoes should I wait to plant the other stuffing later in the year?

  • Henery Lalli

    I do a lot of searching for Fl. gardening information and I am happy to say, I have found a home. Sorry I took so long. You are the best in disseminating very accurate information with a terrific manner of presentation, please stay active and thank you very much!

  • DeeAreDee

    Thank you so much for the amazing resource you've put together here!!!

    Do you think it's too late to plant sweet potato slips? I am just now learning that summer in Florida is tough, and I currently have a raised bed at my grandma's house that gets at least 8 hours of strong, baking sun per day. It really is out in the middle of the yard with no tree cover or shade 🙁 I currently am trying to get bush beans, zucchini, cucumber, and tomato to grow there, but some of them are yellowing. Should I try to switch the whole bed to 'summer phase' and cover crop it until fall?

    I live in Central Florida, Winter Haven.

    Your channel and website has been so helpful, thank you again 🙂

  • Eat See RV

    You look like such a gardener with that hat – haha love it! Thanks for sharing this. Super cool to learn about how sweet potato actually helps the soil. Never planted cowpeas before. We will have to try that!

  • Small Garden Quest

    The only time we dont grow in our climate is in winter time and our best cover crop is snow :O I would love to live in an abundant climate as yours! 🙂