This is a picture of my cover crops on a field that was planted to peas this spring. After the peas were harvested I used a tandem disk to kill the weeds, work the soil and then used a spinner fertilizer spreader for the cover crop seed. Then I used the tandem disk again to work the seed into the soil. I do not have a drill as I do not plant any small grains and I cannot justify buying one. As you can see this improvised way of planting cover crops works too!

I used oats as a cover crop and the little plants in the close up picture is a radish plant. This is the second year I have added radishes to the oats. Radishes form a big tuber in the soil and can penetrate much deeper in the soil that oats. If there is a compacted layer a few inches in the soil the radishes should be able to break it up.

Before I planted the cover crop my pork producing neighbor injected hog manure from his nursery. The oats will use any of the available nitrogen from the manure and tie it up in the plant material. Then next spring when it is warm the residue will decompose and release the nitrogen so that it will be available for the corn crop!

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