The perfect cool-weather crop for impatient young gardeners! Radish plants are easy to grow and can be harvested in as little as three weeks. These potent root vegetables are packed with minerals, dietary fiber, and vitamins C and B6. They are members of the Brassicaceae family, which makes them cousins to cabbage and broccoli.
Radishes (Raphanus sativus) come in two types, the fast-growing and classic salad varieties like French breakfast and early scarlet globe, and winter types like China rose that get larger over the length of an entire season. Though the classic red radish is what we are most familiar with, many heirloom varieties are available in white, yellow and even purple.
Fun Fact: This pungent superfood was given as wages to the ancient Egyptians who built the pyramids.
Peppery or spicy, radishes are everyone’s favorite fresh salad addition.View all
Peppery or spicy, heirloom radish is a favorite salad addition. Planting instructions are included with each seed packet and shipping is FREE!
Quick Guide: Planting, Growing & Harvesting Radishes
- Direct seed this short-season, cool-weather crop in spring or fall
- Plant in loose soil in full sun to part shade
- Harvest when roots are 1 inch across
- Pests and diseases include flea beetles, cabbage worms, root maggots, clubroot and fusarium wilt
Radish plants grow best in the spring and autumn and will tolerate light winter frosts. They require full to partial sun (most guides recommend at least 6 hours), ample water and rich, fast-draining soil. Loosen soil to a depth of 8 inches or even more and work in at least 10 pounds of good organic compost per 100 square feet. You can also add a little sand to improve drainage and friability.
Radishes like plenty of phosphorous so if you intend to add fertilizer before sowing, use something like bone meal. Too much nitrogen will encourage heavy top growth and discourages root bulbs. Kelp meal is loaded with micronutrients and will supply trace minerals to crops that will be consumed.
How to Plant
Sow seeds directly in the garden, 1/2 inch deep, as soon as you can work the soil. Plant weekly to spread out the harvest over weeks, not days. Space rows 8-18 inches apart, planting eight to ten seeds per foot. Thin to one plant every 2 inches.
Once planted, keep garden areas cool and well mulched with compost or aged animal manure. High temperatures and drought make this root crop tough, strong tasting and prone to insect problems (see Growing the Perfect Radish). Do NOT allow the soil to dry out.
Harvesting and Storage
Harvest radishes when they are of usable size and relatively young. Look for bulbs that are an inch in diameter and slightly poking through the soil. Check often, as they can turn from tasty to terrible (pithy and spongy) in a short period of time. Spring varieties mature in 3-5 weeks. Winter types mature in 55-60 days.
For best flavor, harvest in the morning, rinse and eat fresh. If this is not possible, store the unwashed roots — leafy greens removed — inside a plastic bag and keep in the produce drawer of your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Insect & Disease Problems
Radish plants are related to cabbage and suffer from many of the same problems. Since leaves are not harvested, more insect damage can be tolerated on foliage than other vegetable crops. If holes or tunnels are found in the bulbs, suspect root maggots and treat using proven, organic techniques.
Seed Saving Instructions
Plants will cross-pollinate and must be isolated by 1/2 mile or planted in insect-proof cages covered with screen. Seed stalks can be 3 feet tall. Always discard the early bolting plants, since they are not the best to save for seed. The seed stalk is harvested when the stalk and pods are dry. Seeds can then be separated by hand.
Contains NO GMOs, pathogens, growth hormones, or synthetic anything!$19.95Read more
Kelp & Potash (0-0-8)
Chock-full of "good stuff" to keep your favorite plants strong, sturdy and healthy.$20.50Read more
Use to sow your rows with precision. Works fast with just the click of the thumb.$6.95Read more
Kelp Meal (1-0.5-2)
Derived from Norwegian seaweed and infused with beneficial microbes.$9.95Read more