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Instead of leaving soil naked, coat it with cover crops

Crimson clover is a legume that will provide plants with nitrogen – it's pretty and the pollinators love it. PHOTO PROVIDED/NICOLE ANDERSON, OSU EXTENSION

No one wants to go through the winter with no clothes, not even the soil that grows our plants. So, jacket up the soil in cover crops.
These hardworking plants can add organic matter and aerate the soil, protect it from compaction caused by rain, suppress weeds and reduce erosion – some even add nitrogen to the soil, according to Brooke Edmunds, an Oregon State University . . .