Cover Crops and Green Manures for Hawai'i
Generally used for orchard crops such as coffee and macadamia, cover crops are planted to protect the soil surface between tree rows. They can improve trafficability between rows, benefit soil structure and microfauna, suppress weeds, promote habitat for beneficial insects, and reduce nutrient leaching.
Green manures are frequently used in vegetable crop production. They are incorporated or plowed into the soil to add organic matter and nutrients for the cash crops. Green manures can be managed to disrupt plant disease cycles or to suppress nematodes. Generally they grow very quickly, are very herbaceous, decompose rapidly, and release nutrients quickly.
- Bahia grass
- Bermuda grass
- Broadleaf Carpet Grass
- Narrowleaf Carpet Grass
- Pangola (or Digit) Grass
- Tropic Lalo
- Rhodes Grass
- St. Augustine Grass
- Annual Ryegrass
- Oats, black (new promising plant)
- Oats, common
- Rye Grain (Cereal Rye)
- 'Sudex' sorghum-sudangrass hybrid
Additional information about green manures and cover crops
- Advice on obtaining seeds of green manure and cover crops in Hawaii
- Accelerating the Adoption and Implementation of Proven Cover Crop Technologies in Hawaii by Dr. John McHugh, CropCare Hawaii (posted 7/07)
- Green Manure Crops that can help to control Nematodes in Dryland Taro (.wmv video) by Dr. Susan Miyasaka, Alton Arakaki, Dr. Brent Sipes, and Dr. Ray Ming
- UC Davis SARE Program (with searchable cover crop database)
- FAO Grasses & Legumes Index
- Better Pastures for the Tropics and Subtropics
These webpages were originally generated under a grant program from Western SARE entitled "Covering New Ground: Tropical Cover Crops for Improving Soil Quality" EW98-012 (1998-2002).