Archive for August 25th, 2009

So I mentioned one day last week that Phil was drilling (planting) radishes.  Now I can tell you about it and this time I have pictures! 😀

radishes 1

Background info:

Phil raises wheat so he has a place to haul manure earlier in the year instead of having to wait until the corn is harvested.

By mid – end July (or August in this late crop year), he has open fields.

But that good nitrogen can dissipate before next year’s crop is there to use it.

So… enter cover crops.

radishes 2

This year radishes are a totally new idea!

These radishes are not for eating but are super as a cover crop.  They will grab all the nitrogen already incorporated with the manure (knifed in) and hold it for new year’s crop.  This variety of radish makes huge roots which help aeriate the soil.  (loosen the soil, allow air, better drainage, break up compaction)

radishes 2

Phil got most of his radishes drilled on Saturday, August 15.  Before moving day and before rain was due.

radishes 5

We checked the fields on Sunday, August 23.

radishes 6

He was thrilled to be able to “row” the radishes.  (See them the whole length and across the field in their rows.)  Its a farmer thing… we delight in this every spring with the corn coming up.  🙂

radishes 8

He finished up the radishes, ran out of seed, and finished with clover on Wednesday, August 19.   They are just popping.

The change in planting dates

The change in planting dates

The radishes will die off once we have 2 days of 17′ temperatures at night.   The stems & leaves as well as the roots will all decompose over the winter.  But the roots still have all the nitrogen they stored up.

radishes 9

radishes 9fThe new planting just coming.

radishes 9i

The other green you see in the pictures is either volunteer wheat or a weed that is impossible to kill off.  Phil is also hoping the radishes smother out some of that.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress.   He has never grown radishes so all this info is just what he’s learned from others.  Time will tell!

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