Mud season in New England can be tempered by cover crops

Our colleagues Masoud Hashemi and Julie Fine at UMass Amherst have decided to join us in seeing how far north no-till early vegetables will work. We’ve seen that this system can work in the mid-Atlantic, but New England is a different world. In New England, spring is generally a week or so before summer and after a protracted “mud season.” Getting on the fields in mud season can be tricky.

But what if your fields didn’t have to be so muddy?

After the recent thaw, Julie went out to get some soil samples and found this:

Soil after radish vs. weeds

The soil on the left was pulled straight from the no cover crop plot and the soil on the right was from the forage radish cover crop plot (planted 8-22-13). Photo credit: Julie Stultz Fine

Enough said.

If you want to read more about how forage radish affects soil moisture in spring, read the recent post about effects on surface and subsoil moisure and our page about cover crops and soil moisture.

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