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Cover Crop / Catch Crop

Choosing the correct species is key when it comes to cover crop or catch crops. You need to think about what you are trying to achieve weather its soil conditioning, Improving soil structure, Drying out wet fields / areas or putting back organic matter into the soil. Also think about what's in the rotation for example having Brassicas to close in a rotation could increase your risk of club root developing.

Cover Crops are designed to be drilled in August / September as soon the the previous crop has been harvested, this is to prevent the loss of moisture, drilled into warmer condition and benefits from the longer day light hours. Cover Crops are normally kept until January / February before the spring crop will be sown. This will help prevent soil erosion, Storing and scavenging nutrient while suppressing weeds which subsequently benefit the following crop.

Catch Crops is a short term crop that is planted between the harvest and the sowing of another crop. Catch crops want to be down a minimum of 8 weeks and need to be drilled as early as possible, straight after the main crop has been harvested. Catch crop are planted to reduce nutrient leaching from the soil following the main crop. The catch crop then scavenges available nitrogen and other beneficial nutrients which once destroyed will be released into the following crop.

Why drill a Cover Crop or Catch crop?

Key Benefits

  • Weed suppressant.
  • Give you longer working windows suing a wet winter as the cover will absorber a lot of the moisture. 
  • Improved soil structure.
  • Increased soil organic matter.
  • Improved nutrient efficiency.
  • Key part of an integrated rotation
  • Reduced fertiliser losses / leaching by scavenging and the storing of N.
  • Compliance with greening regulations
  • Can be used as part as your Integrated Pest Management


What to to sow?

A cover crop can be made up of just one single specie or a be part of a multi species mixture depending on what you are trying to achieve.

Cover Crop Species

Triticale, Barley, Rye & Oats
Crimson / Berseem Clover's
White or Brown Mustard
Tillage Radish
Oil Radish

The choice of cover crop may depend on herbicide selected and the rates of application for the previous crop.

Bespoke Mixtures

Upon request we can design and tailored make bespoke cover or catch crop to suit your induvial situation, whether that would be for:

  • Breaking Up of Compact Soils
  • Maximum Green Biomass
  • N-Fixing
  • Rapid Establishment
  • Compliant Countryside stewardship Mix

To have Countryside Stewardship Complaint Cover Crop, then you would need to select a mixture or you can use a single crop of one of the following compliant species:


Daikon Tillage radish


Mustard and Phacelia complement each when used as a cover or catch crop, they are both are extremely fast growing species and will maximum growth in a short growing window. This mixture will work well as a weed suppressor, Scavenge and store nitrogen, Produces large amount of biomass and will help with soil conditioning. This mixture will need topping before setting seed if planted in the spring or it may reappear in subsequent crop.

Both of these species are susceptible to frost.


EFA Complaint - Yes
Sowing Rate 8 - 10kg/ha


The added benefit of having a tillage radish to the mix is that is produces a long large bulb that helps break through compacted soils, is also an excellent weed suppressor, Stores Nutrients and reduce nematodes.

Daikon Tillage Radish

EFA Complaint - Yes
Sowing Rate 8 - 10kg/ha


A mixture containing species with
aggressive deep roots that will help
with difficult compacted soils and
producing huge amounts of biomass.
During the winter months this mixture
can benefit the soil by providing vast
quantities of organic matter, prevent
nutrients being lost and penetrate
through compacted soils.

35% Buckwheat
15% Linseed
15% Daikon Radish
12% Crimson Clover
12% Fodder Radish
6% Gold of Pleasure
5% Phacelia

Sowing rate 15 - 25kg/ha
Pack size 25kg & 500kg


A balanced mixture that contains
fast growing species which produce
large amounts of biomass. The
species used in the mixture offer a
wide range of rooting depths some
having a fibrous root system and
others producing long tap roots.
Both types of roots help to soak up
and retain any residual nutrients
which may have been left behind by
the previous crop.

30% Vetch
15% Buckwheat
15% Crimson Clover
12% Fodder Radish
10% Daikon Radish
10% Egyptian Clover
5% White Mustard
3% Phacelia

Sowing rate 15 - 25kg/ha
Pack size 25kg & 500kg


The vetch and rye complement each
other to provide an excellent cover crop
mixture for the winter. Vetches are fast
growing and they have a very prolonged
growing season, combined with
excellent winter hardiness and have the
advantage of being able to fix nitrogen
at lower temperatures than other
legumes. Forage rye is deep rooting
which provides a good underground
network for the plant to utilize most of
the nitrogen left by the previous crop.

80% Forage Rye
20% Vetch

EFA Complaint - Yes
Sowing rate 50 - 75kg/ha
Pack size 25kg & 500kg

N - Rich - Rye & Vetch Mixture


The primary role of this seed mix is
nitrogen fixation to boost soil fertility
between main crops especially two
cereal crops. The mix maintains cover
well into late winter and provides a
range of rooting depth for enhanced soil
aeration and drainage. The mix could also
be grazed as a means of removal rather
than chemical or cultivation methods.

60% Vetch
20% Crimson Clover
10% Linseed
10% Phacelia

Sowing rate 15kg/ha
Pack size 25kg


This mixture will benefit the soil by the
use of species that absorb the leaching
nutrients and has the added advantage
of the useful nitrogen fixing winter
vetch. It produces a huge quantity of
organic matter and has the benefit
of radish’s large roots that can utilise
nutrients from the deeper layers of soil.

60% Forage Rye
30% Vetch
7% Fodder Radish
3% White Mustard

Sowing rate 35 - 50kg/ha
Pack size 25kg & 500kg


A combination of fast growing species
that act as an alternative food source
and distraction to pests that prey on
brassica crops. The canopy cover has
the potential to slow the progress of
flea beetle whilst fixing and releasing
nitrogen to companion oilseed rape
crops. The cover crop will die back
over winter for ease of management.

65% Buckwheat
35% Egyptian Clover

Sowing rate 10kg/ha
Pack size 25kg


Two fast growing species that both
have the ability to fix nitrogen and
act as a distraction to plant pests
and predators. Fenugreek gives off a
distinctive aroma that deters flea beetle.

50% Egyptian Clover
50% Fenugreek

Sowing rate 10kg/ha
Pack size 25kg

Contact Us

Got an enquiry? Want to know more? Contact us today!
e.g. John
e.g. Smith
e.g. 07777 123456
Please inform us of the Mix or Mixtures you are looking for, Quantities and Delivery location and we will get back to you and soon as we can.

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