No, we aren’t throwing a cocktail party in the garlic field. But a well-planned cover crop can help the soil of a summer-harvested garlic field get through a Hurricane Sandy.
A mixture of cover crops are being used not only to protect the soil from the effects of erosion, but also to retain soil nutrients and provide winter wildlife forage. The field shown here was seeded with a mixture of 2 parts (~16 pounds per acre) crimson clover, 1 part (~8 pounds per acre) white mustard and 2 parts (~16 pounds per acre) Daikon radish on the second day of September. Since then the radish taproots have grown. They are mining up the available nutrients in the soil. In the early spring, the radish residue decomposes rapidly and releases its stored nitrogen and other nutrients to increase topsoil fertility. Start planning a cocktail cover crop party for your soil today, its well worth it.