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Keeping it green and growing until a hard freeze winterkills some of the plants - like rye and daikon - or sends some into a dormant state.

I have a small plot set aside in our front yard, in our front yard, where I plan on growing a special variety of corn next year. Our house faces south, so our front yard is the best place to grow anything. In lieu of the traditional mowed lawn and ornamentals typical of most homes, we have a hoophouse and now, a wildly healthy cover crop.

I sowed a mix of various cover crop seeds by throwing them down and raking them under back in early September. I watered it two-to-three times a day and kept it moist. Now that the rains have come, I haven't had to water it at all, and it is thriving.

Some of the plants will be winterkilled, which sounds ominous and terrifying, especially to a gardener. But a planned winterkill for your plants can be good. Allowing nature to break down plants saves much time and energy for spring planting. The dead plants retain many nutrients and become a type of fertilizer and mulch. Turning the soil over or disturbing it in any way is not recommended. The cover crop should pretty much do the tilling for you.

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Daikon radish, hairy vetch, rye, winter wheat, and buckwheat pulling in some good nutrients for the 2022 corn crop planned for this plot.

The remaining cover crop seeds will overwinter and resume growing when the soil starts to warm. That is when the spring growth can be mowed and a noninvasive drill can be used to plant the seeds, in my case, Painted Mountain corn from seeds I saved from this year's harvest.

Depending on what you wish to grow, there are recommended cover crops you can plant to enhance the soil naturally without adding chemical fertilizer. Waterville soil needs as much help as you can give it. My goals for next year are no-till, no chemical fertilizer, and using cover crops to help retain and secure precious topsoil.

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