What is a cover crop?
Cover crops, catch crops, and green manures are all different names for crops we grow for the soil, not for sale. They can be an essential part of maintaining or building soil quality, managing nutrients, and enhancing biological pest and weed control. However, cover crops are as diverse as cash crops and there is no one-size-fits-all cover cropping program!
One of the best resource for cover cropping and decision-making advice is SARE’s extensive learning center where they have research reports and farmer-led innovations. SARE’s publication Managing Cover Crops Profitably is a valuable compendium of cover cropping practical know-how.
Using Winter Cover Crops to Improve Soil and Water Quality (pdf) by Dabney et al (2002) provides a nice overview of winter cover crops.
The Cornell Cover Crop Decision Making Tool is geared toward growers in New York state, but may be helpful to you regardless of your location.
The UC-Davis Cover Crop Database has research summaries for many cover crops. Geared toward California growers, but useful for all.