Daikon radishes are a long deep penetrating type of radish (don’t think of the little red balls you consume from the grocers! These are more like parsnips or turnips.) Daikon radishes are an annual, cool season, broadleaf. They utilize more moisture than many of the Cover Crops we recommend for the Southwest. They are an upright spreading plant that can quickly shade out other plants so don’t plant too heavily in a mix. Daikon style radishes produce a large quantity of root mass as well as penetrating deep into the soil. The root structure brings nitrogen and other nutrients from deep within the soil and upon decomposition is available for successive plantings. (Nutrients including N, P, K, S, Ca, B) In general Daikon radishes help to reduce soil compaction, increase soil organic matter, improve soil tilth and enhance soil aeration. The leaves and roots are desirable for foraging animals especially during the winter months, and if there is still residue on the ground it helps with weed suppression in the spring.
Daikon type radishes establish quickly, 3-5 days in good moisture and grow quickly, full leaf development in about a month, especially when planted in the late summer for a quick crop. Beware, if the tubers are left in the ground (which is a good idea for the health of the soil) they can emit a pretty nasty odor as they decompose.
C:N ratio 20:1
- Type: Non-legume
- Latin Name: Raphanus sativus
- Zone: 5, 6, and 7
- Height: Medium
- Cool/Warm: Warm
- Sun/Shade Tolerance: 1 - Very Sunny
- Min. Precipitation: Not drought tolerantn needs supplemental moisture
- Seeds Per Pound: 48,000
- Annual/Perennial: Annual
- Planting Rate: 8 - 15#ac monostand, 2-7#/acre in mixes
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