A cover crop is a crop planted not for harvest, but because it will benefit the soil. Cover crops are effective for protecting against wind and water erosion. Cover crops can be tilled under to help improve the organic matter in the soil and also can help soil maintain nutrients that may otherwise leach away.
Cover crops vary by location, but typical cover crops include rye and other small grains, buckwheat, legumes such as peas, beans, clovers or vetch and more. Any cover crops grown on an organic farm must be certified organic.