Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
University of California
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources

UC Cooperative Extension | Agricultural Experiment Station

Can California native plants be used as cover crops to benefit farmers and native ecosystems?

Lacy Phacelia cover crop in a vineyard. Photo by Lauren Hale

In late February, in an almond orchard in the Sacramento Valley, the fall-planted cover crop mix of grasses, brassicas and legumes had barely produced a green fuzz above the soil surface, and it was unclear when it would...

UC Delivers

Spinach is a key leafy green vegetable commodity in California. It is a versatile vegetable item that can be eaten fresh or cooked and which contains high levels of vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants. California produces more than 60 percent of the country’s spinach. Monterey County alone grows close to 10,000 acres, which is about half of the state's spinach crop. As with many other commodities, California growers are known nationwide for producing large volumes of spinach that have extremely high quality standards. However, downy mildew is a very serious disease of spinach and causes the leaves to turn bright yellow and then brown. Growers have struggled against this disease for years and continue to battle this fungus. In the past three years, a number of serious downy mildew outbreaks have occurred in the coastal Salinas Valley and other spinach-producing areas.

Read about: UC works to protect spinach from downy mildew | View Other Stories

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