[Market-farming] forage radish as cover crop

Elizabeth Fleming elstrfleming at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 19 23:42:12 EDT 2004

You might want to look into forage radish, or oilseed
radish, as a cover crop.  It will winterkill, and
drills down into the plow layer, although not as deep
as sudex, but makes nice holes as the taproot
decomposes- I've heard it referred to as bio-drilling
but prefer to think of it as the more alliterative
roto-radish.  It provides lots of organic matter, and
recycles nitrogen.  Plus it will break down more
easily than sudex, may be helpful in breaking
parasitic nematode cycles, and seems to offer good
weed control.  But being a brassica you need to keep
that in mind in terms of your rotations if you grow a
lot of other brassicas.  

Here are some good links for more info:






Message: 6
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 17:33:20 +0000
From: bob111higgins at comcast.net
Subject: [Market-farming] does rapeseed winterkill?
To: market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
<071920041733.9600.40FC05E000023FFF0000258022007354469C020709090708CECECE0D010D at comcast.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Hi All:
I want to use cover crops that will winter kill so
that I don't have a 
lot of heavy tilling to do in the spring, having only
a small tiller 
and no tractor. (central NJ, zone 6) Looking to break
up heavy clay, 
provide winter cover and organic matter, and possibly
end up with some 
cover I can plant early crops into. 
I have used buckwheat before for the clay and for
smothering weeds, but 
it also seems too wispy to help much with winter cover
and spring 
Would like to also use oats and rapeseed. Does
rapeseed winterkill? I 
think I remember Elliot Coleman recommending this as a
good source of 
organic matter that would die off in cold weather --
but he lives in 
Maine. If yes, is there a specific variety I should
plant -- since there 
are winter crops grown in the midwest for canola oil
Thanks for any help -- I am learning tons from this
Bob Higgins, Red Brick Farm, Hopewell, NJ

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