Home » agriculture » Tillage Radish Cover Crop Update

Tillage Radish Cover Crop Update

The neighbors have been asking, so here is an update on our Tillage Radish and Oat cover crop.

We have received more rain this fall than we have during the same time period the last two years, so our cover crops have gotten off to a great start. We planted this field on August 31st. You can read about the process here.

Neighbors are starting to ask what we have growing in our field. They know one of the plants is a small grain (wheat, oats, barley, and rye are considered small grains), but they are not sure what the other crop is that was planted in rows. This made me think that maybe the rest of you would like to see what our neighbors are seeing.

This first photo shows the tillage radish planted in rows with oats in between the rows.

Tillage radish planted in rows

Tillage radish planted in rows

This is the overview of the field. You can see how the Tillage Radish is more noticeable in the oats.

Cover Crop of Tillage Radish and Oats

Cover Crop of Tillage Radish and Oats

The radish leaves are broad, and very different from other crops grown in our area. The leaves and the root will almost disappear completely over the winter, leaving the nutrients behind in the soil.

CarolynCares Cover Crop 3

Close up of the Tillage Radish leaves

I wanted to see how big the radish taproot was 38 days after planting. To make sure I was getting a random radish, I walked out into the field, and plopped my shovel near a row. That was the one I would dig up.

Choosing a random radish to dig

Choosing a random radish to dig

The soil is still pretty moist after our weekend rains, so digging was easy. I wanted to get as much of the taproot as I could, so I teased it out of the loosened dirt.We are in a wind advisory, so holding the radish still enough for a photo outside was a bit of a challenge.

Freshly dug Tillage Radish

Freshly dug Tillage Radish

I walked back into the house to measure the length of the taproot. The diameter is just shy of 1/2 inch at its widest. I was impressed that the roots measured at 8 1/2 inches already!

Measuring the Tillage Radish Taproot

Measuring the Tillage Radish Taproot

I believe I was able to tease out the entire taproot, and didn’t break off the end, but it was difficult to tell without a magnifying glass. Here is another view of the root length.

Closer view of the root system of the Tillage Radish

Closer view of the root system of the Tillage Radish

As long as we don’t have a hard freeze (around 20 deg F), the radish will continue to grow both in diameter and length. I’ll take a few more photos in a couple of weeks, and give you another update. In the meantime, we are getting ready to finish harvesting our last field of soybeans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in agriculture, Cover Crop, Organic and tagged as , , , ,

One comment on “Tillage Radish Cover Crop Update

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: