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Overseeding a lawn with radishes?

 
Jill McPartlin
Posts: 17
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"Maybe there are sneaky ways that involve less effort, like overseeding with oilseed radish in the fall?"  This came from the HELp! topic section...thoughts?

I love this idea!  I live in zone 4 in the Metro Detroit area of Michigan.  We moved here last fall and inherited a law that is pretty bad.  We have been mowing high but we need to do something this fall to help the soil.  I love the idea of planting radishes throughout the lawn.  I'm sure the neighbors will think we are crazy but - I can live with that.

So do I understand correctly that the radishes as an over crop will help aerate my soil, improve nutrients and kill weeds -thus helping my grass get off to a great start in the spring? 
 
Jill McPartlin
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Here are some pictures for those of you who have some input.  The hole was easy to dig, it took about 5-10 minutes.  The soil?, dirt? is relatively soft.  The grass isn't growing very deep roots though.  I think that is the main problem or the effect of the problem.  We haven't put anything on our lawn because I'm new to this and would hate to poison my children with some icky stuff. 

So, could the cover crop of radishes help?   Would it be better to dig holes and add compost as suggested in other topic areas? 

Oh and sorry for the typo above, lawn, not law.
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Jill McPartlin
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The lawn.
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Jan Sebastian Dunkelheit
Posts: 201
Location: Germany/Cologne - Finland/Savonlinna
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I love the idea, too but I don't know if it would work the way you hope. Never heard of it before! It sounds like having a lawn (for the neighbors or the dogs to pee) and a place to grow easy-to-harvest vegetables. Great!

Has anyone actually tried this?
 
Jill McPartlin
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I'm going to try it in a small section.  I guess the radishes smell bad as they decompose but so long as the odor does waft all over the place I don't mind one stinky section. 
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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x96mac wrote:
I'm going to try it in a small section.  I guess the radishes smell bad as they decompose but so long as the odor does waft all over the place I don't mind one stinky section. 


I think the idea is to use oilseed radishes, and mow them to death and/or time the planting so that they winter-kill before they get too meaty. That would reduce the smell quite a bit, especially if you bag the foliage and compost it separately.
 
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