So this year I opted for planting buckwheat as a cover crop in beds that won't be planted until later in the spring. I did this for the lettuce and greens area of my kitchen garden as well as for a perennial garden I am planning for the front of the house. Cover crops not only suppress weeds until you are ready to turn the soil over, but they act as a green manure and add nutrients to the soil. And while the break from weeding is awesome, it is the nutrient benefit that really makes cover crops a secret weapon.
The better the soil, the better the garden and what one taketh away each year to grow foliage and flowers, one must giveth back or you're stripping the soil of nutrients which leads to disease, pests, and poor growth.
Compost tea can be applied like compost to soil and like fertilizer to plants during planting and while growing. I'd like to share my recipe here:
4 gallons of water
1/3 cup of alfalfa meal
1/3 cup of fish emulsion
1 tbs molasses
Stir it all together, transfer to a watering can and apply away!