By E. VinjeTweet
Related to cabbage, kale, broccoli and cauliflower, home gardeners enjoy growing radish for its crisp, peppery root, which is easily planted from seed. Originally from China, radishes are the perfect crop for impatient young gardeners. It can be harvested and eaten in as little as 3 weeks from planting.
Note: Planet Natural offers a wide selection of heirloom radish seeds for your growing pleasure.
Radish grows best in the spring and autumn and will tolerate light winter frosts. It requires full to partial sun, ample water and rich, fast draining soil. Loosen soil to a depth of 8 inches and work in 10 pounds of compost per 100 square feet.
Tip: Consider adding kelp meal to vegetable gardens. It’s chock-full of micro-nutrients and is especially good for supplying trace minerals to crops that will be consumed.
How to Plant:
Sow seeds in the garden, 1/2 inch deep, as soon as you can work the soil. Plant weekly to spread harvest throughout the growing season. Space rows 8-18 inches apart, planting eight to ten seeds per foot. Thin to one plant every 2 inches.
Tip: Keep growing areas cool and mulched with compost. High temperatures and drought make this vegetable tough, strong tasting and prone to insect pest problems.
Pull radishes when they are of usable size (usually when they reach up to 1 inch in diameter) and relatively young. Check often, as radishes can turn from tasty to terrible (pithy and spongy) in a short period of time. Spring radishes mature in 3-5 weeks. Winter types mature in 55-60 days.
Insects and Diseases:
Radishes are related to cabbage and suffer from many of the same problems. Since leaves are not harvested, more insect damage can be tolerated than other vegetable plants.
Seed Saving Instructions:
Radishes will cross-pollinate and must be isolated by 1/2 mile or planted in insect-proof cages covered with screen. Radish seed stalks will grow up to 3 feet tall. Always discard the early bolting plants, since they are not the best plants to save for seed. The seed stalk is harvested when the stalk and pods are dry. Seeds can then be separated by hand.