Legume cover crop vs Urea


Active Member
Is there a legume that will produce enough nitrogen in 3-4 months (with inoculant) to make it worth planting over another cover crop, such as oats or buckwheat?
I want to plant turnips in early July next year, and I want as much nitrogen available to them as possible. In the south I’m sure there’s plenty of time for a legume to produce, but the snow doesn’t even melt here until the end of March. (You can tell it’s gonna be a long Winter if I’m thinking about this now.)
So what would you do?

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Frost seeding clover the end of March might be your best option. I can't think of too many other legumes, that you'd have a reasonable chance with, yet providing a lot of nitrogen. Work the clover in to the ground before it flowers and 30 days later, it will start releasing the nitrogen for your next crop. If you work the clover in the ground and immediately plant your turnips, I'd use a starter fertilizer, to help.

Nitrogen in clover.JPG
If you haven't already planted that as a fall plot, your N component will be minimal from anything you plant late spring. Not saying don't do it, just plan on adding your Urea if you want optimum growth. Now in a plot that has been thru several rotations over couple years, indeed you can plant brassica into that with good results. And somewhat depends on the quality of you soils from other nutrients to ph to OM to CEC. All of factors. I will say brassica love N and the more you can throw at them, the more productive their growth. I do both ways, depending on my mood and willingness to spend money. As for your question, I find a RC/WR mix frost seeded in the spring works well. WR will die out mid summer and you can overseed your brassica or do tillage and plant. Good luck.