Tillage Radish is a cool-season cover crop with many benefits for improving soil quality and reducing soil pest pressure. It is the ideal cover crop for clay or other hard, compacted soils. These Daikon-style radishes form long, slender roots that can penetrate the hardest soils. The solid roots will reach deep into compacted soils, making them easier to manage in the following growing season. The deeply rooted radishes also create air pockets within the soil to increase aeration and soil drainage. The increased soil drainage will result in healthier plants with better root development.
In addition to making soils more workable, Tillage Radish also helps to increase nutrient availability towards the soil surface. Because the roots are long, they are able to absorb nutrients from deep soil layers. Once the cover crop has been turned, those deep nutrients will then be available at the soil surface. And because the roots decay slower than leafy material, those nutrients remain longer and do not easily leach from garden soils. The decomposition of the radish cover crop also has benefits for reducing nematode and other soil-borne pest populations.
Plant Tillage Radish in fall with enough time for plants to establish solid roots before a hard freeze occurs. Radish may be planted with a broadcast spreader and lightly covered with a rake, but it can also be planted with a precision planter such as our Hoss Garden Seeder. As with most cover crops, they should be cut or incorporated into the soil before going to seed. Radishes are cold tolerant down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. In colder climates, the radishes will “winter kill” and become dormant throughout the cooler months. They will then resume growing in spring. In warmer climates, radishes may continue to grow throughout the winter.
Tillage Radish Planting Information:
Planting Depth: 1/4″
Seeding Rate: 1 lb per 1,000 sq. ft.
Cover Crop Recommendation Chart