Cover Crops and Compost: How to Go Organic in the Garden

Oct 30, 2015

Growing plants organically, whether done on acres of farmland or a backyard garden, can be tricky work. Iowa State University Extension Organic Specialist Kathleen Delate joins Host Charity Nebbe on this Horticulture Day edition of Talk of Iowa. Delate explains what cover crops are and how they can improve soil quality by infusing it with nitrogen and carbon and preventing soil erosion, nitrate leaching, and ground water pollution. Delate also discusses the uses and benefits of composting.

"Anything that's composted will be a more stable form of nutrients, and also will do a lot to decrease the smell," Delate says. "Yes, getting the raw manure is okay, but you need to till it in and try to get it to start mineralizing right away."

Later in the hour, ISU Extension Horticulturist Richard Jauron joins to help answer questions from listeners.