Growing radishes are one of the first vegetables to emerge in the spring.
Radishes can be used as row markers for carrots, beets
and other root vegetables that are slower to germinate.
By the time the radishes are ready to harvest the other vegetables will just be getting started.
Radishes will aerate the soil around
the other root vegetables.
Radishes are low in calories about 20 calories per cup,
and rich in vitamins, and some minerals magnesium, copper, and calcium as well
as folic acid, potassium and vitamin C.
Radish seeds can be sprouted and the leaves can be eaten salads or steamed and sauteed. The root is the most common eatable part and has a peppery flavor similar to mustards and horseradish.
Radishes are quick growing and need soil rich in humus
from organic matter. Although they will grow in all soil types, the radish will
grow into nice bulbs if given plenty of nutrients and moisture during its short
Popular early varieties are Cherry Bell and Easter egg.
Both are ready in 28 days from germination.
Sow radish seed in early spring as soon as the soil can
be worked. In zones 8 and warmer sow radish seeds in the fall and winter
months. Radish grows best in cool weather. They will go to seed if the weather
gets to hot.
Radish seeds can be soaked in water for 24 hour to speed
up germination. Sow seeds in rows about an inch deep. Cover the seeds with
compost. Sow seeds every 10 days until the weather gets hot.
Keep radishes moist until they mature. Mulch around the
radish plants when they are a few inches tall to retain moisture as the weather
warms up. Spring radishes should be harvested as soon as they are ready.
Leaving them in the ground past their prime makes them tough.
Fall radishes can be sown when the weather cools down.
Black Spanish and Asian varieties grow well in the fall. Fall radish varieties
mature in 55 to 60 days and need to be thinned to about 4 to 6 inches apart
after the plants are about 2 inches tall.
Winter radishes can be left in the ground until after the first frost. After the tops die back the radishes can be dug and stored in a cool cellar in damp sand. Winter radishes will store all winter if stored properly.
Easter egg radishes are a mix of similar varieties that mature at the same time. Kids love to grow these with their different colors. They are very easy to grow in the spring.
Asian or Daikon radishes are best grown in the fall. Daikon radishes mature in 60 days and are store well over the winter. They have a mild sweet flavor and are used in Korean and Asian dishes either stir fried or eaten raw and pickled in salads.