Cover crop workshop set for Saturday, Oct. 4 at Alan Chadwick Garden

Cover crop workshop
Orin Martin and Sky DeMuro lead a workshop on growing winter cover crops at the Chadwick Garden on the UC Santa Cruz campus.

On Saturday, October 4 from 9:30 a.m, to 12:30 p.m., learn how to grow your own compost with soil-building cover crops at a lecture and demonstration workshop. Gardening instructors Orin Martin and Sky DeMuro will show you how to select, plant, and use these fall-planted crops to improve your garden and orchard's soil. The workshop takes place at UC Santa Cruz's Alan Chadwick Garden.

Cover crops are crops such as bell beans and oat grass that are grown over the fall and winter, then either worked into the soil in the spring to decompose before spring and summer planting, or harvested for compost piles. Cover crops protect the soil from winter rains, then help the soil hold moisture as they decompose and add nutrients to your garden or orchard. 

Martin and DeMuro will discuss the cover crop species best suited to the Central Coast, along with how much seed you’ll need for your garden or tree crops, and how best to time cover crop plantings in the fall and “plough downs” in the spring. 

Cost of the workshop is $30 general admission (pre-registered) or $40 (at the door); $20 for Friends of the Farm & Garden members (pre-registered) or $30 (at the door); $15 for UCSC students and limited-income (pre-registered) or $20 (at the door). 

Pre-register online at or pay at the door (check or cash only at the door). 

For more information, call (831) 459-3240 or email The workshop is cosponsored by the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems and the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden.

Coffee and tea provided. Feel free to bring a bag lunch and enjoy the garden following the workshop.

To reach the Chadwick Garden, enter the UC Santa Cruz campus through the Main Entrance (corner of Bay and Mission Streets) and follow the Garden Workshop signs. The Chadwick Garden is located off McLaughlin Drive between Merrill and Stevenson Colleges. Free parking is available at Merrill College. 

The event is sponsored by the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden, and the UCSC Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems. For more information or questions about access, call (831) 459-3240, email, or see