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Old September 25, 2020   #1
cjp1953
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Default 2020 cover crop

Sunday pulled my garden and tilled in some alfalfa pellets then planted Daikon radishes for this years cover crop.Last couple years used winter rye and hairy vetch.Radishes are up already and hoping I get good size before they are killed off in November.This was a very productive year for my tomatoes and peppers.
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Old September 25, 2020   #2
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I thought I saw you kicking the tires on a Mantis or some such tiller. Did you retire your S&J fork?
I went with a winter killed Sudex cover last Fall and this Spring the worms loved it. I did have to time my Spring planting before or well after any rains.
Previous years, with live rye cover as mulch, it soaked up so much of any rain it got, it left the soil workable most days.
Of course dealing with rye live through the Spring is extra work and I have traded in my grass shears for a propane weed burner to tame it.
Burning it is easier, but trickier



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Old September 26, 2020   #3
cjp1953
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I thought I saw you kicking the tires on a Mantis or some such tiller. Did you retire your S&J fork?
I went with a winter killed Sudex cover last Fall and this Spring the worms loved it. I did have to time my Spring planting before or well after any rains.
Previous years, with live rye cover as mulch, it soaked up so much of any rain it got, it left the soil workable most days.
Of course dealing with rye live through the Spring is extra work and I have traded in my grass shears for a propane weed burner to tame it.
Burning it is easier, but trickier

LOL After having both knees replaced 3 years ago I decided the tiller was the way to go.That 4 cycle Honda engine really does the job.I still have the fork,it needed a rest too.:lol

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Old September 26, 2020   #4
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I think I could go for some in with rye if they were about the size of carrots. What kind did you use? Oops I see that vendors have Daikon or Tillage

Think I wonder if they would winter kill in Texas. Sounds much easier than the double digging I did 10 years ago, there's some firm brown clay under the topsoil here.
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Old September 27, 2020   #5
cjp1953
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These can get very large,2 to 4 inches round you can do a search on Daikon Tillage radishes there are some videos on Youtube that show the size they can obtain.I would research your local farmers feed store and see what they recommend.
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Old September 28, 2020   #6
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I'll be doing a mustard cover crop again this fall. Nematodes, ya know....
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Old September 29, 2020   #7
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I'll be doing a mustard cover crop again this fall. Nematodes, ya know....
Last year I planted marigolds around my garden.They have the same effect not that I have a problem with nematodes but have rabbits that like to live under my tomato plants.They don't bother anything and I like the the looks of the flower boarder.
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Old September 30, 2020   #8
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I ordered some daikon seed, enough for a few years. First time I have tried it as a cover crop. I have them in every row that is done for the year, put in over the last couple weeks. Be interesting to see what they do. It has been very dry until the last few days, and this rain tonight will really set the sprouting.
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Old September 30, 2020   #9
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I ordered some daikon seed, enough for a few years. First time I have tried it as a cover crop. I have them in every row that is done for the year, put in over the last couple weeks. Be interesting to see what they do. It has been very dry until the last few days, and this rain tonight will really set the sprouting.
Mine were up in 48 hours,I watered everyday.It takes around 60 days to mature for the ones planted.I was 2 weeks late when I planted on 9/22.Leaves now are 2 to 3 inches tall.What I have seen about them is they are very fast growers.
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Old September 30, 2020   #10
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I had the order timed perfectly for the weather, but the supplier's "fast shipping" decided to take a week off. I ordered Wednesday. Should have went out Thursday. Or at least Friday. Saturday morning? Well Tuesday surely? No, I had to email the following Wednesday. They printed a slip 30 minutes later and then emailed me like "what did I expect, it was labor day weekend." So Fast Shipping meant 1 week delay to Hancock Seeds. These should have all been in the ground the day after Labor Day. Can't say I'm real happy about that.
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Old October 1, 2020   #11
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Originally Posted by JRinPA View Post
I had the order timed perfectly for the weather, but the supplier's "fast shipping" decided to take a week off. I ordered Wednesday. Should have went out Thursday. Or at least Friday. Saturday morning? Well Tuesday surely? No, I had to email the following Wednesday. They printed a slip 30 minutes later and then emailed me like "what did I expect, it was labor day weekend." So Fast Shipping meant 1 week delay to Hancock Seeds. These should have all been in the ground the day after Labor Day. Can't say I'm real happy about that.
When do you expect the first hard frost?It took a around two nights to kill them when I planted them 2 years ago but they were around 2 inches round.I believe I planted the second week of September that year.We have a feed store nearby that has the seeds.But the mail is messed up these days so I know how you feel.Good luck with cover crop.
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Old October 1, 2020   #12
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They wouldn't all have been in the ground that early, just the rows I had that were finished and open plots at the comm garden. The earliest seeded and watered are up now about 3" I guess.

I first found daikon in fields here maybe 6 years back on some state land. There were a bunch of big fields of them. I dug some up to see what they were. Ended up cooking them too. In mid-November they were still green and 18" tall, and 3" diameter and 8-10" long. Somewhere around there, years back now. But I don't know when they were planted. And unfortunately I haven't seen them since.

Usually the first hard frost is mid October. Then it will get warm again at the end of October. I expect they will be growing until mid November at least. Generally it doesn't freeze until December, but some years there will be a light freeze as early as mid October, enough for skim ice, but not often.

NWS climate prediction center shows the next few months as warmer and dryer than avg. I think I read la nina pattern this winter. So maybe they'll be growing into mid December...I could even cover them for frost protection since they are in rows and I have lots of ag19. Extra work though. Between the delay, the weather timing, and my schedule I feel like I lost 2-1/2 weeks of cover crop growth for the initial plots.

I just seeded some today under my okra, which has a new rounds of flowers with this warm weather. That will be about it, I guess. I still have corn with ears forming for another two weeks. Have fall peas, and beans and squash. My raised beds out back have peppers and eggplants and sweet potatoes still in. All those will be too late for daikon and will need to be mulched/leaf mulched/manured.

Last edited by JRinPA; October 1, 2020 at 01:41 AM.
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Old October 1, 2020   #13
cjp1953
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Originally Posted by JRinPA View Post
They wouldn't all have been in the ground that early, just the rows I had that were finished and open plots at the comm garden. The earliest seeded and watered are up now about 3" I guess.

I first found daikon in fields here maybe 6 years back on some state land. There were a bunch of big fields of them. I dug some up to see what they were. Ended up cooking them too. In mid-November they were still green and 18" tall, and 3" diameter and 8-10" long. Somewhere around there, years back now. But I don't know when they were planted. And unfortunately I haven't seen them since.

Usually the first hard frost is mid October. Then it will get warm again at the end of October. I expect they will be growing until mid November at least. Generally it doesn't freeze until December, but some years there will be a light freeze as early as mid October, enough for skim ice, but not often.

NWS climate prediction center shows the next few months as warmer and dryer than avg. I think I read la nina pattern this winter. So maybe they'll be growing into mid December...I could even cover them for frost protection since they are in rows and I have lots of ag19. Extra work though. Between the delay, the weather timing, and my schedule I feel like I lost 2-1/2 weeks of cover crop growth for the initial plots.

I just seeded some today under my okra, which has a new rounds of flowers with this warm weather. That will be about it, I guess. I still have corn with ears forming for another two weeks. Have fall peas, and beans and squash. My raised beds out back have peppers and eggplants and sweet potatoes still in. All those will be too late for daikon and will need to be mulched/leaf mulched/manured.
I never ate them but lots of people do.The seeds I had were 4 years old and all seemed to come up, kept them sealed in a coffee can in my basement.You have a good plan and knowledge on how to use them for the best results.Good luck and hope they arrive soon.
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Old October 16, 2020   #14
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Supposed to dip into the low 30's tonight,radishes are growing well so I pulled out my tarp and covered the garden.I would love another 3 or 4 weeks of growth.The next week looks good with rain and high temps in the 60's and lows in the 40's.Great weather for radish growth.
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Old October 16, 2020   #15
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I should cover stuff tomorrow night, threatening frost here. My fall peas are about 4 ft tall and that should probably be the first thing to cover. It will probably not frost for another couple weeks.
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