Summer Cover Crops for Florida Vegetable Gardening

Summer Cover Crops for Florida Vegetable Gardening

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.

0:00 Summer Cover Crops for Vegetable Gardens
0:35 Benefits of Cover Crops
1:28 Sweet Potatoes as a Cover Crop
3:00 Cowpeas as a Cover Crop
4:19 New Zealand Spinach as a Cover Crop

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32 Comments

  1. MrNightpwner on June 17, 2022 at 9:13 pm

    I’m confused, so do I harvest cover crops, let them whither and die, or till them into the soil like a killer massacring his victim?

  2. Electric Peashooter on June 17, 2022 at 9:13 pm

    Great video ty

  3. Gary Koons on June 17, 2022 at 9:15 pm

    You rock

  4. Eat See RV on June 17, 2022 at 9:15 pm

    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!

  5. Peggy Buti on June 17, 2022 at 9:15 pm

    I am planning on cow peas and sweet potatoes!

  6. Niki Ledger on June 17, 2022 at 9:19 pm

    great video, thx…I’m in zone 9 Louisiana, so I’ll be able to use your suggestions.

  7. Amanda Abbott on June 17, 2022 at 9:20 pm

    Do you think it’s too late to begin planting sweet potatoes and cow peas now? I’m in central Florida.

  8. Lisa Bafundo on June 17, 2022 at 9:20 pm

    New subscriber here, great video!

  9. Lisa D on June 17, 2022 at 9:22 pm

    Can I just put my sweet potatoes vines back on the bed as a covering to mulch down after I’ve pulled out all sweet potatoes.

  10. Brian Pulsifer on June 17, 2022 at 9:25 pm

    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.

  11. Zachariah Stillwater on June 17, 2022 at 9:26 pm

    Thank you so much! I’m in love with the purple sweet potatoes. I have them getting established under the food forest and on the edges of the garden near the fences. I think soon I will build them something to grow up on and maximize my yield

  12. Amy Sizemore on June 17, 2022 at 9:26 pm

    I live central Florida east coast and just played sweet Potatoes in containers and have a spot in my yard that’s full sun. Do you think they’ll grow in beach sandy yard ? Should I loosen the soil and had anything to it ? Thank you

  13. Natural_Jenn on June 17, 2022 at 9:29 pm

    New gardener here, I like the idea of sweat potato. When would you put them in the ground for the summer?

  14. grammyspieface1 on June 17, 2022 at 9:30 pm

    I got all kind of bug holes in my sweet potatoes, I hope I actually get some sweet potatoes

  15. Dennis Keyes on June 17, 2022 at 9:38 pm

    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.

  16. Small Garden Quest on June 17, 2022 at 9:40 pm

    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! 🙂

  17. Ludmila Dunchyk on June 17, 2022 at 9:46 pm

    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?

  18. Josh Espinosa - Realtor on June 17, 2022 at 9:47 pm

    You’re awesome! Glad I found your channel. 😀👍

  19. Josette on June 17, 2022 at 9:47 pm

    Very informative and well presented. Thank you providing Florida focused gardening information and tips ❤

  20. My Granny’s Garden on June 17, 2022 at 9:51 pm

    Thank you for this video. I don’t plant during the summer because of the heat and bugs. This video has given me insight on using core crops.

  21. MNP on June 17, 2022 at 9:51 pm

    Where do you buy your seeds? I already grow sweet l
    Potatoes but have not had many leaves and its been 2 months?

  22. Odi varela on June 17, 2022 at 9:51 pm

    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?

  23. FigmoDaddy on June 17, 2022 at 9:54 pm

    Just discovered your videos. Your presentations are really well done. Here in Citrus County zone 9A, I have had to relearn gardening PH, watering, fertilizing and everything else. Two years now and still struggling. ‘Up North’ we just planted anything everywhere and it grew.

  24. Joanie Donoghue on June 17, 2022 at 9:59 pm

    Thank you. 👍 Took your advice and planted cowpeas in my 4×8 bed. They’re doing great!

  25. Henery Lalli on June 17, 2022 at 9:59 pm

    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!

  26. Jolus on June 17, 2022 at 10:01 pm

    All of those plant’s look half yellow and dieing

  27. DeeAreDee on June 17, 2022 at 10:01 pm

    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 🙂

  28. Maritsa Garcia on June 17, 2022 at 10:01 pm

    I’m so happy to find you in fl I’m going to in fl And learning what is good for fl groin in my home gardening

  29. Maritsa Garcia on June 17, 2022 at 10:03 pm

    I have been trying spinach for so long , if you can please let me know thanks

  30. Flower_Goddess127 on June 17, 2022 at 10:05 pm

    What a great video ! Thank you

  31. Nancy Fahey on June 17, 2022 at 10:06 pm

    This is my 3rd year growing longevity spinach. Last winter we had 24° and the spinach was wiped out. Good thing I take in and root a couple of stems every year. But the soil I recycled to grow potatoes this year has longevity spinach growing in it. I believe the seeds have taken. I’m amazed at this plant. Grows thru the hottest weather in August..

  32. Mozelle on June 17, 2022 at 10:06 pm

    Awesome thank you

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