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Daikon Cover Crop Bolting

 
Ben Russak
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Hey everyone,
I am a newbie gardener, but over the last 8 months with the help of a permie friend, I have ripped up all the sod in my Van Nuys (L.A.) backyard (plastic netting underneath wouldn't let me sheet mulch) broken up my concrete with a sledge and made urbanite raised beds, planted 9 fruit trees, winter and now spring vegetables, dug swales, planted cover crops, and composted a small mountain of local leaves.

So, after all that back-breaking work, things are going great with me just letting things go to a great degree, which absolutely amazes me, but I figured I would start posting here with questions because there is still so much I do not know.

I planted peaceful valley nitrocoated good bug blend as a cover crop in the swales I dug (and the berms) in my clay soil. Its all growing like gangbusters, but all the daikon has bolted. I am reading online that I should pull it all up, but wanted to know if that was really necessary. Does anybody have an opinion on this? I have included a picture of the cover crops below, as well as a couple of photos of the work we have done. There is a public facebook photo album detailing our work for anyone interested... http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150361355179142.356924.752824141&type=3

Thanks for any input!

Ben

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Van Nuys Permaculture
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Before and after
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Swale cover crops with daikon stalks flowering
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Personally I would not pull the daikon. If you need the ground to grow something else before the daikon ripens its seed and dies down, you can cut the stems off at ground level, leaving the roots in the soil where they will rot and add organic material.
 
William James
gardener
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Location: Northern Italy
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Better to plant Daikons in very early spring or late fall. And space them.

Not a spring-summer plant, unless you need to increase your seed stock, which is NOT a bad idea. I currently have a patch that bolted, even in late fall (October) (spaced too close). So, I now (June) need just a few more weeks until I can harvest bunches of new seeds.

I typically get my Daikon seed from japan.... Since I'm not sure about radiation, it's all the more reason to be growing my own seed.

ps: do a search, I asked exactly the same question last year.
pps: the roots from bolted plants are, in my experience, not that thick. But they might be longish, so keep them in the ground.
W
 
John Polk
master steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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The principal reason for growing daikon as a soil builder is to get a mass of organic roots deep in your soil to decompose there.
This adds organic matter deep within your soil, plus opens up tunnels for worms and microbes to populate. It allows oxygen and water to penetrate deeper, thus bringing new life to the soil.

If you want to use the space for other crops, merely chop the daikon plants at ground level, leaving the roots in place to help build your soil.

Be forewarned though that the rotting roots will put out an odor. Do not be surprised to see people from the gas company in your neighborhood wandering around with meters, looking for a gas leak that the neighbors may have reported.

 
Ben Russak
Posts: 2
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thanks, everybody, it was my instinct to leave them alone, but the interwebs can be such a confusing place...
and John, thanks for the odor tip, I might have called the gas company myself!
LOVE this site...
 
Walter Jeffries
Posts: 1085
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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I let things like this bolt (go to seed). They produce seed that then grows in the next cycle (next year for us here in Vermont). We seeded about 70 acres with rape, kale, turnips, beets, radishes, pumpkins, sunflowers, sunchokes. Now many of those are reseeding themselves year after year. This saves me work and money while making our pastures richer. The livestock tend to nibble on the leaves of the plants during the summer leaving the tubers. They also don't tend to bother squash and pumpkin plants. Sunflowers and sunchokes they'll go for. Then in the fall they eat the squashes, pumpkins and tubers they can get in their winter paddock areas. Tubers that are under deep snow survive and grow again the next year as perennials. To some degree we control their eating of the crops by moving them through fields but there are also a lot of these plants that are simply doing well out in the pastures. The seeds the animals eat mostly pass through them and start new plants the next year in rich piles of dung.

Cheers,

-Walter Jeffries
Sugar Mountain Farm
Pastured Pigs, Sheep & Kids
in the mountains of Vermont
Read about our on-farm butcher shop project:
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/butchershop
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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