Turnips and Radish covers


Meadowlark

Gardner, Angler, Adjunct Professor, and Rancher
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East Texas
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Someone asked me recently why I use turnips and radishes as part of my winter cover crops. Take a look at the attached photo and the answers should be somewhat apparent.

turnip radish cover 2.JPG


The turnip root system runs about 6 inches deep and the dacron radish extends much further up to 14 to 16 inches of penetration. These roots bring deep nutrients including nitrogen to the surface where it can be readily used as well as break up soil compaction.

I like to include them in a mix with alfalfa, rye and clovers that will remain in the garden doing their thing all the way through to next spring. The radishes may freeze back at temps below 20 deg F but the turnips just keep going even down to 10 deg F.

Both also offer the added bonus benefit of being good on the table.

Here's the mix currently in a portion of the garden where corn will be planted next spring.

turnip radish cover.JPG
 
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There is a TV program called Masterchef here, last week one of the main dishes was 'Turnip eight ways', the judges raved about it, 'See that on a menu and 99% of the time you should run a mile. This is the one percent', 'Multiple, unique flavours and textures'
 

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