Expert advice on how, where and when to grow Radishes
HOW TO GROW
- 1 HOW TO GROWRADISH
- 2 QUICK CALENDAR FOR GROWING RADISH
- 3 WHERE TO GROW RADISH
- 4 WHEN AND HOW TO SOW RADISH SEED
- 5 CARING FOR RADISH
- 6 WHEN TO HARVEST YOUR RADISH
- 7 GROWING RADISH IN CONTAINERS
- 8 PESTS AND DISEASES OF RADISH
- 9 COMMENTS / QUESTIONS LEFT BY OUR READERS
- 10 Radish Seed Saving: How To Harvest Radish Seed Pods
- 11 Radish Seed Pod Info
- 12 Collecting Radish Seeds
- 13 How to Prevent Bugs in Radishes
- 14 Greenhouse Gardening – How to Grow Radish?
- 15 Planting radishes
- 16 A bit of advice for growing radish
- 17 General challenges when growing radish in a greenhouse
There are radishes which can be grown from spring to mid summer and then the autumn / winter varieties which are planted in July / August for maturing in October / November.
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QUICK CALENDAR FOR GROWING RADISH
Sow spring / summer radish seeds under cloches — the first week of April
Start sowing spring / summer radish seed outside — the third week of April
Succession sow spring / summer radish every two weeks up to mid-July and thin out seedlings as necessary.
Thin out seedlings— as soon as they appear
Begin to harvest spring / summer radish — the fourth week of May
Start to sow autumn / winter radish (mooli or daikon) seed outside — the third week of June
Succession sow autumn / winter radish every two weeks up to early September and thin out seedlings as necessary.
Start to harvest autumn / winter radish (mooli or daikon) — the third week of August
WHERE TO GROW RADISH
Autumn / winter (also known as mooli / daikon / Asian) radish are also relatively cool weather vegetables and when you first start to sow them they will appreciate some shade. Later sowings from mid-August onwards can be grown in full sun. By the time the seedlings emerge the weather will start to cool off.
Most soils are suitable for both types of radish although a well drained, moisture retaining soil will give the best results. For autumn / winter radish it is especially important to remove stones from the and ensure the soil is well dug to a depth of 30cm / 1ft. Sprinkle a handful of bonemeal onto each square metre / yard of soil and gently work it in with a trowel.
WHEN AND HOW TO SOW RADISH SEED
AUTUMN / WINTER RADISH
Make a line in the soil about 2cm / ¾in deep and sow one seed every 5cm / 2in. Draw the soil back over the seeds as for spring / summer radish and water well. Rows should be spaced 40cm / 16in apart. Star sowing autumn / winter radish seed in the third week of June and continue to sow small amounts of seed every two weeks until mid September.
CARING FOR RADISH
All radishes should be watered if the soil becomes dry, good levels of moisture will ensure radish which is crisp, crunchy and tasty. When the seedlings appear, thin them out to one seedling every 3cm / 1in apart for spring / summer radishes and one seedling every 15cm / 6in for autumn / winter radishes. Other than weeding regularly radish should grow happily with very little attention.
WHEN TO HARVEST YOUR RADISH
First sowings of spring / summer radish should be harvested about four weeks after the seed is sown which will be the fourth week of May in your area. For autumn / winter radish, start to harvest eight weeks after sowing which is the third week of August in your area. Autumn / winter radish stay in good condition for about 6 weeks after their harvest due date or early November at the latest.
GROWING RADISH IN CONTAINERS
RECOMMENDED VARIETIES OF RADISH
A small, flattish rash which is coloured pink and white. It is a top variety for growing in containers because its roots are unusually shallow. Delicious taste and lots of peppery crunch. Awarded the AGM by the RHS.
Longer than the traditional radish shape this variety has a mild pepper flavour and loads of crunch. It has been around in one form or other for over a century and holds an RHS AGM award.
If you fancy having a try at growing autumn / winter radish then this variety is probably the first one to try. It is mature at about 20cm / 8in long and the flesh and outside skin is pure white. Great crunchy and mild flavour.
If you don’t have one firm favourite of radish variety why not try a selection? The packet from Victoriana Nursery (10% discount automatically deducted at checkout if you click from this page) contains a massive 800 seeds and you will grow several varieties of different shapes and taste. Ideal for kids and adults who want to experiment. We were very pleasantly surprised last year when we sowed a couple of rows from this selection pack.
PESTS AND DISEASES OF RADISH
Radish suffer from very few pests and are one of the most dependable of vegetables. Slugs may be a problem but they are not really specific to radishes. The most common pest is the Flea Beetle which is discussed below.
FLEA BEETLE ON RADISHES
Click the picture to enlarge it and you will see that in this case the whole row is badly effected. The beetles themselves are black, 3mm long, visible to the naked eye and with strong rear legs that allow them to spring on and off leaves.
Flea beetles cause unsightly damage to leaves but in the case of radishes it doesn’t significantly affect the vigour of the plant. Even in the relatively bad case above the radish will grow normally even if slightly slower. The beetles prefer dry soil and a dry atmosphere which is why lighter soils suffer worst, you will rarely see a bad case of flea beetle damage on clay soil because it retains moisture.
There are chemical sprays to kill this pest but in the case of radishes there is little purpose unless you plan to display vegetables with the leaves on. The best advice for the average gardener is to keep the soil watered well if you really are bothered by this pest.
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Radish Seed Saving: How To Harvest Radish Seed Pods
Have you ever forgotten a couple of radishes in the garden, only to discover them some weeks later with flourishing tops adorned with pods? Did you ever wonder if you could harvest radish seed pods?
Radish Seed Pod Info
Radishes are most commonly grown for their tasty roots, but did you know that radish seed pods are edible as well? They are not only edible, but truly delicious with a milder flavor than the root and an interesting crunch. Radish pods are simply the seed pods of a radish plant that has been allowed to flower and then go to seed.
There are actually some varieties of radish, such as ‘Rattail,’ that are specifically planted for cultivation of the seed pods, although all radish varieties form edible seed pods. The pods look remarkably similar to short pea pods or green beans. A newcomer on the North American food scene, radish seed pod info informs us that this delicacy is a commonplace snack in Germany where they are eaten raw with beer. They are called ‘moongre’ in India and added to stir fries with potatoes and spices.
Besides munching on these pungent pods, can you save seeds from radish seed pods? Yes, you can save seed from radishes. So, not only can you toss the radish root into a salad, snack on the delicious pods, but you can harvest radish seed pods as well. Oh yes, you can then compost the rest of the plant so not a stitch of it is wasted.
Collecting Radish Seeds
Radish seed saving requires nothing more than leaving the pods on the plants until they are brown and mostly dried. Keep an eye on them if the weather is turning wet so they don’t mildew. If this is looking imminent, I suggest abandoning the radish seed saving in lieu of harvesting the pods and eating them before they go bad.
Once the pods are browning, you can pull the entire plant up and upend it in a brown bag. Hang the bag with the plant seed dangling down into it and allow the seeds to mature naturally. Once they are completely mature, the pods pop open and the seeds drop into the bag. You can also allow seed pods to mature in a cool, dry area and then winnow or sift them to separate the seeds from the chaff.
Seeds will store for up to five years in a cool, dry area. Keep in mind that if you are collecting radish seeds from hybrid varieties, the chances of obtaining exact replicas of the parent plant in the successive planting season is nil as radishes cross pollinate readily. Regardless, the resulting radish will still be a radish. If you want to be a purest, select only those seeds from dedicated heirloom plantings.
How to Prevent Bugs in Radishes
Small radish varieties mature quickly, within three to four weeks.
Radishes (Raphanus sativus) grow year-round in warm climates, but can also develop bug infestations at any time. Cabbage maggots, harlequin beetles, flea beetles and other pests infest radishes, eating holes in their leaves, stems and roots. You can keep bugs away from the radishes by tidying up radish growing areas, protecting crops and other cultural controls. Radish root colors and shapes vary widely between varieties, and include black, white, purple, long and egg-shaped, as well as the traditional round, red salad radish. Although most people only eat radish roots, the leaves are also edible. Radishes are annual plants that produce seed and die at the end of the growing season.
Remove plant debris from areas where radishes were growing, at the end of the growing season.
Dig up weeds or ground cover growing near radishes with a garden fork or trowel in the spring, and continue to remove weeds as they appear throughout the year.
Cover rows of sown radish seeds with a floating cover of spun polyester garden fabric. Secure the edges with stones, gathering the fabric beneath the stones so the edges are held tightly against the soil.
Grow radish plants on a new site every year for at least three years.
Greenhouse Gardening – How to Grow Radish?
Table of Contents
Radishes grow at lightning speed, sometimes merely within a few days. They are ideal for fresh and particularly inexperienced gardeners. You can easily grow radishes in your own greenhouse even during wintertime without much struggle.
Radish is a root vegetable belonging to the Brassicaceae family. This crunchy veggie is a component of many salads that is native to Europe. Although it now is grown in all parts of the world. Radish is pungent, juicy and sweet and is a great source of folate, fiber, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and calcium.
These guidelines below will show you ways on how to easily grow delicious radishes.
- Be sure you supplement it with organic compost or aged manure into the soil, to start with
- Sow the seeds about an inch into the soil spacing them an inch apart from each other in rows that are one foot apart
- After the plants germinate, thin them so the plants are spaced two inches apart
A bit of advice for growing radish
- Ensure the greenhouse kits you have provides your radishes adequate sunlight since shade conditions will encourage the plants to produce more leaves and little of the sweet edible roots.
- Thinning the plants when they are a week old gives rise to the best roots. If not thinned, you are expected to end up with shriveled, inedible, bad roots.
General challenges when growing radish in a greenhouse
Flea beetles are the common problems with radish since it flies and bounces around. Sprinkling insect repellents such as neem will not be a good help. What you can do is cover them with a mosquito net or insect-proof screen.
Mulch your radishes with fertilizer enriched with wood ashes. It keeps those annoying root maggots at bay and at the same time helps your soil hold moisture that could indicate the distinction between perfect and poor radishes. Do not plant radishes in an area that contained cole veggies in the last three years.
Radishes are virtually disease-free. Long radishes, however, produce black roots that create dark spots at the base of the roots. If this becomes a determined problem, try to grow simply the round radish species.
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Radishes require adequate watering meaning the soils need to be wet but not waterlogged. Optimally, provide one inch of water every week. Watering in moderation is the key. If your soil is extremely dry, radishes will bolt and may become short and too sour to taste. If excessively saturated, its roots will break and decay. Do not allow the soil to dry out, and do not keep it dirty, either.
Excellent soil conditions for radishes
Radishes thrive in loose, well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. It is helpful if the soil has less or no stones at all. The optimal pH for radish-growing soil should be 6.5 but the plant can stand soils with pH ranging from 6.0 to 7.0.
Keep the soil moistened. Avoid fresh compost and organic substances or fertilizers that are high in nitrogen because extremely rich soil will promote lush foliage which will lose crisp, appetizing roots.
Lighting and temperature
The secret is simply obtaining adequate sunshine. Radishes do well if they get at least six hours of full sun every day. They, however, are a cool weather plant and can tolerate some level of shade.
Keep the temperature between 50°F to 70°F most of the time. Don’t pout if you want to grow radish in the heat of summer. Check out our Cooling and Ventilation Collection to keep your greenhouse cool in summer!
Time to reap your radish!
Some varieties of radishes mature as early as three weeks after planting. You will see a big sized head poking out of the ground. To harvest, lift the root off the ground using a fork and cut off the leafy head.
If you need larger ones, simply leave them for an extra ten days. However, don’t leave them longer than that. If you hesitate to gather them for too long, they will get starchy with a hollow center and it won’t taste good. The leaves are also good so you can also pick a few to eat as they arise, but leave some for the crop. Be cautious as the leaves of the red and roundish radishes will normally have tiny spikes.
When they are left to mature more, they will develop a flower stalk and begin flowering to create seeds. These seedpods are also yummy too! Leave the pods to dry and there you can have seeds for the following season.