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Radishes Are Good For Soil Health!

By   /  July 13, 2020  /  1 Comment

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From December of 2014, here’s some amazing information about what radishes can do for soil.

When this video starts, you might say to yourself “Precision Cover Cropping?! I do pasture!” But don’t turn it off! What this video has to tell us about soil fertility from cover crops is something that we can use in pasture to great benefit! And in only a couple of minutes.

Dr. Joel Gruver of Western Illinois University discovered that soil samples taken from the rows where radish cover crops had been winter-killed were much higher in phosphorous and potassium than soil samples taken just 15 inches away between the rows.  In effect, they had created “bands” of soil fertility.  Even better, there was more fertility than the cover crops could have acquired. Gruver summarizes it this way: “There was an accumulation of nutrients but there was also a liberation of nutrients that were already in that zone, that were not brought up by the radish plant but rather were simply made more available.”

So watch this video, and then check out this past On Pasture article, “Radishes to Garnish Salads or Pastures,” for some planting and grazing information that will help you get started adding forage radishes to your pasture.

 

Thanks to the National Grazing Lands Coalition for making this article possible. Click on over to see the great work they do for all of us. Thank them for supporting On Pasture by liking their facebook page.

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About the author

Author and editor emeritus

Rachel's interest in sustainable agriculture and grazing has deep roots in the soil. She's been following that passion around the world, working on an ancient Nabatean farm in the Negev, and with farmers in West Africa's Niger. After returning to the US, Rachel received her M.S. and Ph.D. in agronomy and soil science from the University of Maryland. For her doctoral research, Rachel spent 3 years working with Maryland dairy farmers using management intensive grazing. She then began her work with grass farmers, a source of joy and a journey of discovery.

1 Comment

  1. red Slusser says:

    Miz Gilker, no, we’re not farming any longer, but do keep up. I like radishes and found black Schifferstadt winter the best for our area in Arizona as a winter cover. They kill most nematodes, and and pillbugs (which do more damage than nematodes), and chase off javelina pigs. Daikon are susceptible to all. They’re prolific seeders, stalks getting 5 feet tall and more, and as wide. These are called German horseradish for their heat, the oil in the root. Because they overwinter well here, we have to undercut them to kill them.

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