Radishes establish very quickly, providing good ground cover, smothering weeds and preventing erosion. The taproot drives deep into the soil, providing a way for air, water and crop roots to penetrate deeply into the soil and pulling up nutrients otherwise unavailable to shallower-rooted crops. Fall-planted radishes are great for sequestering residual nutrients from the previous crop. Radishes work as a biofumigant, especially if incorporated in the vegetative stage.
- A cover crop radish for seeding in late summer and fall
- Easy to establish, fast growing’
- Winter kills
- Excellent at scavenging and recycling nutrients in the soil
- Acts as a Nitrogen storage tank
- Deep tap root breaks up compaction
Radishes can be planted into existing crops at the beginning of leaf wilt, either by aerial seeding or by a high boy rigged with a broadcast system. They work well in mixes or can be seeded alone. In mixes, 203 lbs. is all that’s needed. Radishes winter-kill when temperatures dip to 23 degrees F.
In a monoculture, the seeding rate is 8-10 lbs/A. Drill in rows 6-8 inches apart, 1/4-1/2 inch deep. Radishes also can be broadcast and rolled with a cultipacker or aerial-seeded into drying corn, in which case higher rates should be used. Radishes can be no-tilled into grass if the grass has been grazed or mowed very close.