SOIL NITROGEN RESPONSE TO COVER CROPS IN A TOMATO–BEAN ROTATION

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634
  • | 2 Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, Fletcher, NC 28732
  • | 3 Department of Horticulture, University of Georgia, Tifton, GA
  • | 4 North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695
  • | 5 Department of Horticulture, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634

A 5-year study using winter cover crops (wheat or rye, crimson clover, and fallow) in a tomato and bean rotation indicated several soil responses to the cover crops. Advantages of crimson clover winter cover crop to the soil in a tomato-bean rotation included adding organic matter to the soil, which resulted in an increase in the amount of inorganic nitrogen in the upper levels of the soil profile and an increase in the soil's water-holding capacity. An additional benefit of winter cover crops to the soil was the potential of reduced nitrogen leaching.

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