Radishes are easy to grow and are ready to harvest in a short amount of time making them a fantastic crop for children to grow, school gardens or impatient gardeners since most are ready for harvest in as little as a month. They are crunchy and have a peppery taste.
Radishes are a cool weather crop, meaning they are best growing in early spring or fall. I have grown them in winter as well in a cold frame. Sow them 2-3 weeks before the last frost, sooner if you have a cold frame.
They are easily grown in containers.
Keep your crops coming by planting new seed every week or two.
Plant in full sun.
Fertile, loose, well drained soil.
You can start seeds indoor and transplant or seed directly. I have done it both ways. Space the plants about 3-6 inches apart depending on the mature size of your radishes. Don’t overcrowd.
Be careful when transplanting. Make sure the root goes straight down, because that will become your radish.
Give regular, even water. Avoid large amounts of water when they near maturity because this can cause them to crack. They are still edible, but don’t look as nice. Not enough water will make them small and dry.
Amend your soil before planting with compost and organic all purpose fertilizer. Too much nitrogen will just put more energy into the leaves. Fertilizing during growth is generally not necessary.
Harvest your radish when it has reached the size you want. You can check by brushing the dirt away from the tops. Look at how fat it is. If it is ready, pull it. If not, push the dirt back over it. Only harvest what you are ready to eat and leave the rest in the ground, but not too long. When they pass their prime they will be tough and pithy. Just grab the base of the leaves give a gentle twist and pull. The radish will easily come out. The leaves are edible as well.
To store -wash, cut off leaves and store in a plastic bag. Save the leaves in a separate bag. The leaves lose a lot of moisture, drying the radish. That is why you take them off.
I haven’t encountered many pests. Perhaps because they grow so quickly. They are not prone to disease.
Leaves can be cooked in dishes just like other greens.
The radishes can be
- sliced in salads
- layer on bread or crackers with butter, salt and pepper
- slip some in a sandwich with the lettuce and tomato for an extra crunch
- roasted in the oven with other root vegetables (this also creates a milder flavor)
- just eat them straight