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  • Justin Brown

    September 9, 2021 at 8:51 pm

    Hi Liam,

    A couple of thoughts, even though something tells me I’ll be telling you what you already know.

    Short windows are difficult for cover crop selection, especially since you are no till and terminating is a challenge. I have had difficulties terminating brassicas in my garden, so I hear ya on the radish. Also, buckwheat is the one they always say is perfect for the short window. Again, not telling you anything you don’t already know.

    As I read your comment, the first thing that came to mind was soybeans. Not sure why, except maybe I remember reading somewhere that they can be terminated by crimping at anytime. In other words, you don’t have to wait for flowering stage or whatever.

    Another thing you could do is go to the Green Cover website and find their Smartmix Calculator. It is free and there is even an option to use it as a guest without signing up. It will prompt you for a number of parameters including the window of time between planting and terminating and your top three soil health goals that you want to accomplish. It will then suggest cover crop seed from four categories (grasses, legumes, etc) and rate them excellent, good, poor and risky (I think those are the ratings). Anyway, great resource.

    Last thought, they say it’s important to not judge the contribution of a plant or mix of plants to soil health by the above ground appearance. I’m told plants build roots before above ground biomass and some plants especially so. They could be building soil biology without looking very impressive above ground.

    Hope this helps,