Oil radish (Raphanus sativus L.) is an annual plant of the spring-seeded type. It is used for technical, bioenergetical, fodder, seeding, and melliferous purposes. When stubble-seeded, oil radish yields 20 to 25 t/ha in elevated mass in late fall. The phytomass harvest depends on the planting terms and technique as well as on the development phase it is being harvested. When growing oil radish as a usual spring-seeded crop (not as a stubble-seeded crop), it can yield up to 50 t/ha, and in some cases as high as 80 t/ha. Oil radish is considered to be an optimal green manure plant, as it is resistant enough to cold, quickly yields much green mass, and loosens soil rather deeply. That is why it may be widely used for restoring soil productivity. In case of early planting, it becomes a good forecrop for many fall-seeded crops. Oil radish green mass is characterized with nice taste and is willingly eaten by animals. Naturally, like all cruciferous plants, oil radish contains mustard oils that have bitter taste, and that is why the diet cannot consist of this crop alone. At the beginning of generation development, the crop contains up to 26 to 30% of protein. Oil radish proteins contain many essential amino acids which are well-absorbed (the green mass protein digestion is up to 85%). Oil radish green mass contains much calcium (2 to 3.5%), phosphorus (0.5 to 1.2%), vitamins and ascorbic acid in particular — its content in the period of blossom pods forming achieves 1000 mg% (on absolute dry basis).
White mustard (Sinapis alba L.) is an entomophilous plant. It is a splendid melliferous crop that yields up to 100 kg/ha or honey. Mustard honey has a light-yellow color, it is very aromatic and tasty. It can grow on any soils with the pH value from very acidic to alcaline, but the best growth is demonstrated on light and medium loamy soils. Mustard root secretions contain organic acids which can transform a number of nutritional elements that cannot be assimilated by the crop into the elements that can be assimilated (such as poorly soluble phosphates) in the course of interaction with the soil. In addition, the plants themselves can assimilate macroelements and trace elements unavailable for other plants from the soil. Root secretions also cause a strong phytosanitary effect protecting accumulation of such widely spread potato diseases as potato blight, rhizoctoniose, potato scab, fusarium blight in the soil. In addition, fewer wireworms are found in soil. Oil mustard plowing down in late autumn favors extermination of wireworms as their overwintering conditions change. Mustard ripens quickly and is capable of ensuring the yield of green mass within a short time even when there is a lack of heat. It may be used as a green manure as it is a source of the organic substance for plants and soil microorganisms. It must also be noted that when it is used as a green manure crop, the green mass biodegrades in the soil quickly. Quick growing and quick ripening mustard is highly competitive and actively suppresses development of most weeds.
Phacelia (Phacеlia tanacetifolia Benth) is an annual plant of the waterleaf (Hydrophyllaceae) family, a valuable melliferous plant. It is characterized with quick growth, accumulation of large quantity of green mass. Phacelia roots go up to 20 cm deep into the soil during the period of the green mass growth. With that, the soil structure is improved and becomes loose and permeable to air. Phacelia can grow on any type of soil.
It grows very quickly and forms large green mass. It is unpretentious and is grown in various conditions, even on poor sandy and stony soils. Phacelia is a good melliferous plant. Its blossoming begins in 6 weeks after seeding, therefore, if its is planted from spring to the beginning of June, it will be blossoming for the whole summer and fall. Its tender leaves and rootstalk degrade quickly and serve as a good nitrogen fertilizer.
Phacelia is unpretentious, resistant to cold, may tolerate the frost of up to –7–(–9°) С in winter, that is why it can planted immediately after thawing of soil. Seeding can be performed in rows and randomly. The expenditure of seeds is 8 to 10 g/m2. Phacelia is attributed to the waterleaf family and, therefore, can be a forecrop to any crop.