How To Grow Radishes
Radishes are definitely among some of the easiest vegetables to grow as they take up very little room, grow quickly, don’t require much care or nutrients, very resistant to pests and disease, and add a nice zest to salads, especially when they’re picked straight from your garden. In our years of experience, our radish crops have never failed us, quite a resilient little plant!
By the same token, think about how many radishes are you actually going to be using throughout the season. When making a salad for four, one sliced radish will do the trick (at least for us). For the home garden, pick a small unused spot in your beds and throw in a few. Growing a 3’X3′ patch should supply you with enough radishes to last all season, even enough to share with your neighbors or friends.
Is it worth it? Definitely. Growing radishes (even if it’s a small patch) it beyond rewarding and can save you several trips to the grocery store. Finally, they just taste better grown from your own garden.
As with almost all root vegetables, radishes need to be sown directly into the garden, please don’t try to start them indoors, it’s just not worth the time or effort. However, there is some good news, radishes are hearty plants and you can plant them directly into the soil around 3-4 weeks before last frost. Yes, I said before last frost, not after.
Prepare your bed (given it’s a 3×3 patch) with a scoop of compost or rotted manure, just make sure that the soil is fine…meaning without clumps or rocks. This is a root vegetable, any obstacles and inhibit growth. Radish seeds are very tiny, though they like to be planted slightly deeper than you think, about 1/2″. We normally dig a small trench 1/2″ deep, sew the seeds 1/2″ apart, and cover them with the soil you dug out. Radishes will thrive in full sun but can be planted in partial sun as just as well, if you can give them 4-6 hours of light per day, they will be quite happy.
After planting, give them a good watering, again either with soaker hoses or a watering wand on a mild setting.
Caring For Radishes
Take care to not let the soil dry out, though you should remember this is a root vegetable and water goes deep. You don’t want to drown the little guys. If your soil is dry to about 1/4 inch deep, water again and you’ll be fine.
Once your seedlings are around 1″ tall, thin out the weaker ones, leaving 3″ per plant. This will give the remaining plants room to grow and you won’t have to worry about your radishes fighting for nutrients.
As with anything you grow, do your best to keep the weeds out, they will only steal water and nutrients. This is a given for anything you plant.
After all that hard work and care, sit back with a nice cold one and watch them grow. We’ve noticed that no extra fertilizer is necessary, seriously, the things just kind of grow on their own.
The time has come! Harvest radishes when they are young, red and tender. They have the best flavor when they are about a month old, if left in the ground too long radishes tend to split. Also, the longer the radish has been in the ground, the “hotter” they become. Some people prefer the hotter flavor, so the only true solution is to give them the good old taste test, it never fails.
Flea Beetle, Cabbage Root Fly
Scab, Downey Mildew
Tips For Growing Radishes
To have a continuous supply of radishes do a lot of small plantings. The leaves of the radish can be used in salads, but beware they can be bit bitter.