Brassicas cover crop blooms in the field between the York Mill of Ardent Mills (in the background) and the York County Solid Waste Incinerator. (Mike Spyker photo of April 15, 2022)
Brassicas blooms along Blackbridge Road
Mike Spyker continues to keep tabs on the varied crops grown in the fields along Blackbridge Road; between the York Mill of Ardent Mills and the York County Solid Waste Incinerator. This time the crop is Brassicas; just as it is beginning to bloom.
Brassicas refers to species in the genus Brassica, which is part of the mustard family. However it is a big group, including everything from canola to cauliflower to cabbage. It is planted in the fields along Blackbridge Road as a cover crop.
A cover crop is usually planted between cash crop growing seasons to improve soil health, slow erosion, protect soil from nutrient loss and help smother weeds.
Brassicas is an effective cover crop; for weed suppression, nutrient scavenging and breaking up soil compaction. This plant produces glucosinolates; a compound that naturally inhibits weed growth.
The Brassicas plant is a crucifer, or cruciferous; for the four-lobed, cross-shaped appearance of the four-pedaled flowers.
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