Growing Radishes

Growing radishes is super easy, a lot of fun and produces a tasty  snack or addition to salads.  If a non veg gardener wanted to give ‘grow your own’ a go and they liked radishes, I’d recommend this crop above all others.  Not because it’s a spectacular vegetable, but simply because it’s so fast and reliable from seed to harvest.  Even the seeds are a sensible size to handle.

 
 

How to Grow Radishes – QUICKSTART GUIDE
  • For early radishes, sow under cover or under cloches from February
  • Sow outdoors in the soil March onwards
  • Plant in blocks, sowing seeds about 2-3cm(1in) apart in each direction
  • Sprinkle soil on top to cover seeds or rake in
  • Ensure they are regularly watered or they turn woody and less appetising
  • Ready to harvest about 4-6 weeks from sowing – Wow!

 
 
 



Radish Varieties

Radish SeedsFrench Breakfast 3 – fast growing, cylindrical roots, crisp texture, mild sweet flavour, RHS Award of Garden Merit
Scarlet Globe – bright scarlet roots, crisp white flesh, mild flavour, suitable for early sowings under glass, RHS Award of Garden Merit
Zlata – yellow skinned, round to oval roots, crisp white flesh, excellent flavour, RHS Award of Garden Merit
Mirabeau – cylindrical roots, pale red, suitable for early sowings under glass
Cherry Belle – bright red round roots, crisp flesh, mild flavour, fast maturing, slow to go woody
 

 
This is one vegetable that can be covered almost entirely by the QuickStart guide, pointing to its ease of cultivation. Radish are easy to sow, grow and harvest, and have a fantastically short sow-to-harvest timescale.

 

Sowing and Planting

Sowing radishes is easy.  Just sprinkle some seeds on the ground such that they land roughly 3cm (1+in) apart and then either rake them in or sprinkle some loose soil on top.  We tend to sprinkle soil on top rather than raking as raking always seems to land the seeds in one area, leaving the rest bare!

Radishes aren’t something you need to allocate a specific space for in the vegetable patch – just pop them in and around the patch where there are odd little bits of space.

 

Looking after the Plants

Keep the weeds at bay and ensure they are kept watered, that’s it.  If you let the soil dry out, they become woody, spoiling the texture and taste. Pull them out by their leaves when you see from their tops that they are about the size of a grape.

 

Tips

  • Mark slower germinating seeds, like parsnip by planting a row of radishes next to them
  • Don’t allocate special space for radishes (unless you want loads), just pop them in all the odd spots that are bare
  • Plant a few pockets of seed every other week for a succession of small roots.  Don’t sow lots in one go or you’ll tire of them!
  • Plant them in the greenhouse in February for a super early first crop

 

Radish Problems, Pests and Diseases

Radish are generally trouble free.  You may have the leaves eaten by flea beetles…but the roots that you eat tend to be left alone.

Also, take a look at our page 10 Ways to Avoid Plant Pests, Diseases and Problems for some general advice.

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