Late August to early October is the ideal time for seeding cover crops. Some potential benefits of planting cover crops are as follows:
Retain soil nutrients - cover crops tie up soil nutrients as they grow and ultimately release them for following crops to use
Prevent soil erosion - cover crops help hold soil in place, reduce crusting, and protect against erosion due to rain and wind
Build soil organic matter - cover crop biomass contributes to soil organic matter, which helps to improve soil structure, water infiltration, limit soil evaporation, along with water-holding and nutrient-supply capacity
Break soil compaction - cover crop roots can act as "living plows", breaking up compacted soil layers
Suppress weeds - cover crops shade the soil, which can reduce weed germination and growth.
Provide additional forage - in some areas, it may be possible to graze, hay or chop cover crops before terminating in the spring.