> Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 19:43:19 -0400 (EDT)
> From: Kevin Smyth <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Subject: allelopathic effect of oats
> friends - how worried should I be about planting vegetable seeds this
> spring into winter killed oats? I have heard oats have an allelopathic
> effect on some plants and may hinder germination. Some things
> I planted are
> not germinating and I wonder if it's the oats, or just plain bad luck.
> Kevin Smyth
Oats have been shown to hinder germination of some vegetable crops. The
recent SAN publication, Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 2nd Edition, says
the following about this specific topic:
"Allelopathic (naturally occurring herbicidal) compounds in oat roots and
residue can hinder weed growth for a few weeks. It also can slow
germination or root growth of some subsequent crops, such as lettuce, cress,
timothy, rice, wheat and peas. You can minimize this effect by waiting
three weeks after oat incorporation before seeding a susceptible crop, or by
following with an alternate crop."
This is Andy again: Allelopathy is a complex topic. There are indications
that the growth stage of the allelopathic crop influences the effects, too.
Add in weather variables, particularly rainfall and temperature, and we end
up not being able to predict the effects very well at all...
Excerpts of Managing Crops Profitably can be found at
You can order the 212-page book for $19. Make your check or purchase order
payable to Sustainable Agriculture Publications and mail to:
Sustainable Agriculture Publications
Hills Building, Room 10
University of Vermont
Burlington, VT 05405-0082
Shipping in the U.S., Canada and Mexico included except on rush orders.
For orders sent outside of North America, please add $6.00 for the first
book and $2.50 for each additional book.
Andy Clark, Ph.D.
c/o AFSIC, Room 304
National Agricultural Library
10301 Baltimore Ave.
Beltsville, MD 20705-2351
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