A Study of Short-Season Winter Cover Crops for Organic High Tunnel Production Systems

This two-year study investigated short-season winter cover crops to improve soil quality and growth of subsequent vegetable crops in an organic high tunnel production system. Five winter cover crop treatments including a nontreated control, Austrian winter peas (Pisum arvense), bell beans (Vicia faba), mustard (Brassica juncea cv. Kodiak), and Daikon radish (Raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus) were grown in a high tunnel in a randomized complete block design from mid-November to mid-March, mowed and incorporated into the soil, and followed by a succession of vegetable crops including tomato (Lycopersicon lycopersicum, cv. ‘Plum Dandy’) and broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica, cv. ‘Bay Meadows’).

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