Cover crops are essential to building healthy soil, and the more types that are grown, the better. A bit less than a month ago, I decided to plant some buckwheat in the rows on the west side of the field that were fallow this warm season. Now that the flowers have emerged from the buckwheat, the honey bee’s have been foraging from them in the morning, with literally hundreds seen in the two rows of buckwheat. Although I planted the buckwheat to help feed the bee’s this season, I also planted buckwheat to reap the benefits of it, which are the ability to extract phosphorus from the soil, branching root system, weed suppressant, and for organic matter that they will become when they are finished growing this winter. I started with 5 different species this fall, those being hairy vetch, oats, peas, buckwheat and yellow clover. After doing more research and watching some videos from Gabe Brown of Browns Ranch in Bismark ND, I realized that I needed to add at minimal, a couple of more types of plants to the cover crop that I was planning to grow this year. I added rye and white clover to the mix today, and will look for a radish or turnip to plant along with the other 7 species. All these species have their benefits, from breaking up hard compacted soil, covering the soil to stop wind and water erosion, to adding nitrogen and other nutrients, and adding organic material to the soil – all of these are required to build a healthy soil, which will create healthy and happy plants.