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Sowing & Growing: Fodder Radish

Fodder radish (raphanus sativus) also known as ‘oil radish’ is an annual brassica. It will hold residual nitrogen in the soil, which it will release as it breaks down over time. This species is slower to flower and go to seed than mustard and produces a deeper root system. 

Fodder radish is sown either as a straight or in mixtures with other cover crop species and is effective at helping smother weeds, rapidly producing biomass and scavenging nitrogen. 

The flowering plant is usually white in colour but this can vary to mauve and pinks.

When to Sow: Sow into warm soils in spring, summer or autumn.

Sowing Rate: 1.5 g/m2 - 5 kg per acre - 12.5 kg per ha

Preparation: The most successful results come from sowing into a newly prepared seedbed. Aim to cultivate the top soil to about 5cm, with a light cultivator or discs. The finished seedbed should be fine but firm, with no clods. Several passes with a cultivator may be needed to achieve this. 

Sowing: This small brassica seed should be broadcast or drilled to a shallow depth (no more than 10mm) into a fine seedbed. The soil should be rolled after sowing to increase soil to seed contact.

Management: This annual brassica is not normally topped except to destroy it for incorporation. Fodder radish is more tolerant to lower temperatures than mustard, however it is not frost hardy and several nights of a sharp frost will usually kill off the plant. It can suffer from the usual pests and diseases connected to brassicas, although it's quick growing nature can help it to grow away from these issues.

Date Posted: 14th February 2023