Ryegrass – Use as Garden Cover Crop

Q: I sowed annual ryegrass in my vegetable garden in early October. The grass is thick and plush. How do I manage it in winter?

A: The purpose of a garden cover crop such as ryegrass, clover, or winter pea is three-fold: to prevent erosion, to prevent weeds, and to add organic matter to the soil in spring. You can leave it uncut until mid-March. At that time mow it close to the ground, wait a week and then till it into your garden soil. It will be hugely enriched by the process.