From the Desk of Ed Hume: Radishes- Tasty and Fun to Grow

April 16, 2012 at 12:00 AM Leave a comment

I love to recommend radishes to kids and other first time gardeners. The success rate is almost 100% and in warm weather radish plants begin to grow in about three days. It’s also a wonderful root vegetable, and there are some really exciting new varieties.

For example, many kids like the watermelon radish, because the colors are reversed. It really pops in salads! Kids are often fascinated the with word “watermelon,” so make it clear they aren’t growing an actual watermelon. You should also know that the watermelon radish takes twice as long to grow as most radish varieties.

Growing radishes is almost foolproof. Just combine good soil, a bit of fertilizer, and water when needed. In a matter of weeks most varieties are ready to be eaten.

The biggest problem people have when growing radishes is forgetting to thin the plants properly. Too much nitrogen and over-watering can also affect the growth by causing them to bypass the development of the roots. Poor soil and under-watering can cause them to bolt, or taste hotter. Simply prepare the soil as you would any other vegetable crop, and you should avoid any and all of these problems.

The backside of the seed packet will specify the correct spacing, thinning, and planting depth for radishes. All three of these points are important. Here are a few suggestions:

SPACING: At seeding time the seeds can be spaced about an inch apart.

DEPTH: Cover the seeds with 1/4th inch of light soil. This is very important. The major reason seeds do not germinate is because they were planted too deeply.

THINNING: Once the plants have developed leaves, the radish seedlings should be thinned to 2 inches apart. Do not try to replant the thinned plants, as they seldom form the desired round shape.

RE-SEEDING: When the first crop has been harvested, a series of additional plantings can be made from early spring to late summer.

FEEDING: Use an all-purpose vegetable garden fertilizer when preparing the soil for planting. If the soil is prepared properly, they will seldom need additional feeding. Re-apply and mix into the soil only before re-seeding a new crop.

We list 10 varieties of radish in our seed selection at My favorites are watermelon, champion, early scarlet globe, Easter egg II, and French breakfast. However, the pink and purple varieties are interesting too! Radishes don’t take up much garden space, and taste great, so have fun growing them!


Entry filed under: Articles. Tags: , , , , , .

Clip of the Week: Rock Garden Perennials Ed’s Podcasts: More Spring Projects

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


April 2012
« Mar   May »

Most Recent Posts

%d bloggers like this: