Radish is an upright, cool season annual broadleaf. Perhaps no cover crop species has been planted on more acres recently than radish, and for good reason. Radish tubers and taproots reduce compaction and scavenge excess nutrients left in the soil from cash crops. Radish stands suppress weed growth, reduce soil and wind erosion, and increase soil microbial activity, especially when mixed with a grass or small grain cover crop. Tolerant of many kinds of manure, radish work especially well after late summer applications.

There are two ‘types’ of radish to distinguish. Daikon types are strong biomass producers making them a great option for fall grazing. Daikon types (like Soil First® Select Radish) have been bred to produce a deep taproot. Some oilseed radish varieties (like Image) provide the additional advantage of suppressing nematode populations. The oilseed varieties typically do not produce as deep of a vertical taproot, but they still alleviate soil compaction with their lateral taproots and a fibrous root system.

Soil First® Select Radish

Soil First Select Radish was selected based on performance in the field. This new daikon-type radish variety was evaluated across many different soil types and environments from the Northwest to the upper Midwest and Transition Zone. A superior, deep penetrating taproot is one characteristic that separates the Soil First Select Radish from other varieties, growing to a level of 3-6’, based on soil type, region and planting date. The upper portion of the taproot (or tuber) can grow to a length of 12-24”. Select Radish will germinate in only a couple days when moisture is present.

Image Radish

• Up to 90% nematode control (sugar beet cyst nematode)
• Alleviates soil compaction vertically and horizontally
• Suppresses weed growth
• Excellent at scavenging residual nitrogen and other nutrients
• Reduced odor when decomposing