With its fast growth, ample pollen, and long taproots, our most popular option is the PAm Mustard Mix. If planted early enough it will bloom before almonds. This cover crop option is great at adding organic matter, alleviating soil compaction, and capturing available nitrogen. The PAm Mustard Mix requires the least amount of water of our options and is the best at reseeding itself.
Species: 35% canola 15% Bracco White Mustard 15% Nemfix Mustard 20% Daikon Radish 15% Common Yellow Mustard
Seed Rate: 12 lbs/acre rate for broadcast planting 8lbs/acre rate for drill planting
Ground Prep: The best method for planting is direct seeding with drill equipment. If broadcast seeding is the only option then a good, fine seed bed is desirable since most of the seeds are very small like alfalfa. Ideally the soil should be disked, cultipacked with a ring roller, planted and rolled a second time. Caution: ‘Grass killing’ herbicides will cause phytotoxitcy in Rapini mustard.
Planting Methods: Use a grain drill, no till drill, broadcaster, or even a hand-held broadcaster on small areas to evenly distribute the seed.
Plant: After Sept. 10th through Nov. 10th, while soil is still warm (above 55⁰) is an appropriate time to plant any cover crop in California. However, to ensure the cover crop will bloom before almonds it must be sown before the first rains. The mustard mix must be planted before October 5th. Plant no more than 1/8” to 1/4” deep. Plant in-between tree rows, fence lines, fallow areas, where trees are being taken out of production, and in orchard margins or borders.
Emergence/Visible: 6 – 8 days
Bloom: Nov – Feb 90 days – Canola will be the first to bloom
Management: Ideally it should be mowed or disked after the stand stops blooming. If reseeding is desired leaving plants intact until June may be necessary. This date will vary depending on planting date and local climate.