Western Research and Demonstration Farm
Planting cover crops to simultaneously establish native prairie seedlings and prevent weed invasion is an increasingly common management practice for prairie plantings. The idea is based on the assumption that the cover plant will act as a nurse plant to prairie seedlings, and will have a positive effect on seedling recruitment by increasing weed suppression and by lowering the harmful effects of high evaporation and light availabilities. Cover crops could also potentially reduce the amount of soil erosion that occurs during planting. This is predicted to lead to reduced weed biomass and increased prairie establishment in restoration plantings.
Iowa State University
Wilsey, Brian J. and Blong, Andrea, "Native Cover Crops and Timing of Planting: Effects on Weed Invasion and Prairie Establishment" (2008). Iowa State Research Farm Progress Reports. 815.