Friday, September 12, 2014

Mustard Gas

Here's how the mustard plant works to fumigate nematodes according to Territorial Seed Co.:

Brassica juncea 80-90 days. This unique plant can be used as both a green manure and a natural soil fumigant to fight nematodes. An organic alternative to using chemical applications of Methyl Bromide. Columbia basin wheat growers use it to reduce the nematode populations between wheat crops. When worked into the soil, Mighty Mustard Kodiak releases high levels of glucosinolates, a natural chemical agent that makes some brassicas spicy. When soil pests come into contact with the decaying matter and the fumes of decomposition, they are unable to complete their lifecycle. For use as a fumigant, mow down and work into the soil immediately. As a fast growing cover crop, Mighty Mustard Kodiak can produce 4-5 tons of organic matter from 6 foot tall plants in just 80-90 days. To utilize as a cover crop, mow and leave it on the ground to dry down before working into the soil. Not only does this mustard recycle existing nitrogen from its long tap roots, the plant itself has a high protein and nitrogen content and will greatly increase the soil's fertility and tilth. The best practice with cover crop mustard is to mow while in flower and before seed-set to ensure it doesn't reseed itself. Unless of course, you would like to save some seed to create your very own savory Oriental mustard! Sow spring to summer at ¼ pound per 1000 square feet; 6-10 pounds per acre.

I believe mowing the plant before seeds are set should insure the mustard plant doesn't become a mess.


David said...

Maybelline, yikes what a scary picture. So mustard gas is made from the mustard plant? Apparently it works on those pesky little nematodes. I've only heard about such things from your posts so I'm thinking they are not much of a problem here in Nebraska. Maybe the blessing of the bitterly cold winter kills them. Our ground freezes sometimes two feet thick here in the winter. We have to bury our water line four feet down to keep them from freezing. I hope and pray that you get all those little nematode guys under control and have a great garden the next growing season. Do you grow anything during the winter months? Some try to extend the season here with covers and green houses but by October, I'm tired of the garden and just pull it out, rest, and plan for seed starting in February.

Have a great mustard gas for nematodes day.

dorothy said...

I guess it's necessary to call in the heavy artillery when dealing with some of these pests! We've never had nematodes. Maybe our soil is too clayey. But that's one pest I hope to never see!


David - I believe the mustard gas used in war is a very different beast.
Dorothy - I have a feeling my nematodes were imported when I introduced some tomato plants gifted to me by a work associate. My native soil is clay. Raised beds are much different.