Saturday, September 21, 2013

Cover Crop of Oats and Radishes

About a month ago, we were able to work a couple of fields to prepare them to be planted with a cover crop. Cover crops serve several purposes. They keep weeds from taking over in a field, and they add nutrients and increase the organic matter in the soil. Cover crops are typically left to grow for a while and then plowed down. It might be tempting to consider that a waste, but the reasons listed above make it a smart move.

We seeded two fields--the part of the corn field that drowned out and was plowed down earlier this summer, and a field that was left fallow due to the extremely wet spring. Here's The Farmer filling the grain drill with two kinds of seed--oats


and radishes.


The oats are the longer, light colored seeds. The radishes are the round, red seeds.


Just yesterday I took a walk out to the field with a camera. Despite the lack of rain, the planting is well established.


We are hopeful that we can get one grazing off the back field. Pasture is in short supply right now, due to the lack of rain.


We included radishes in the mix to help with soil compaction. The deep roots of the radishes will open up or aerate the field somewhat.

1 comment:

  1. Looks good! And I never realized that radishes would make a good cover crop for breaking up compacted soil. I learn something new all the time from your blog!

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