You may have heard that ‘plants take from the soil’. Nothing could be further from the truth. Observe what happens in bare soil. It dies. Then it blows or washes away. If you could ‘see’ what happens around the roots of actively growing plants you would want to have as many green plants in your soil for as much of the year as possible. The New Mexico State University researchers found that planting diverse cover crops between cash crops resulted in better yields than the use of synthetic fertilisers. And that wasn’t all. Soil tests showed that the availability of essential minerals and trace elements increased.
Source: Christine Jones, WANTFA New Frontiers in Agriculture, September 2013