How to Grow the Mighty Roman Radish

by Amy Stafford on April 24, 2012

The Radish is usually the first vegetable we harvest.

Growing radishes was pioneered before the Roman empire; the name “radish” derived from “radix,” the Latin word for “root”

We had a good rain here last Saturday and on Sunday I went out to the garden to find my Radishes showing off their sexy shoulders

Radishes will push out of the ground as they grow and mature.

You’ll see the “shoulder” of the radish pop up above the soil when they’re ready to harvest. If you don’t harvest within the next weekthe roots will become pithy, flavorless, and woody. Spring radishes are ready to harvest around 3 to 5 weeks after seeding.

I planted mine March 22nd, exactly 4 weeks to the day that they showed me their “shoulders”.  I planted two different varieties side by side; D’Avignon and Tri-Colored Easter Egg.  D’Avignon is the one popping up a variety from the South of France.  They are a tiny, slender variety that only grows around 3-4″.  I always try to plant a varieties I won’t see in my grocery store.

The Mighty Roman Radish

Lack of moisture can make for hot or even bitter radishes at harvest time. It’s not bad if you like hot radishes but you run the risk of ruining your crop if you don’t give them regular watering. At least twice a week they should be thoroughly watered. Dried out radishes can also end up very hollow inside, or “pithy”.

The Mighty Roman Radish

 They grow best in full sun to partial shade and fertile, loose soil with good drainage.  To much Nitrogen in your soil is usually the reason that radishes don’t bulb, but get big leafy tops.  Also planting seeds too deep will cause radishes not to produce bulbs.

Colors range from red, pink, and white, to gray-black or yellow radishes, in varying sizes and shapes, the most popular being the red round radish.

Radishes are an all around great companion plant with most vegetable crops.  You can plant them along pumpkins, squash and they are supposed to deter cucumber beetles.  Because radishes are in the cabbage family and so inexpensive and easy to grow you can plant them on the parameter of your other cabbage vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts, etc. and the flea beetle will trap the beetles and keep them off the other tender seedlings.  You then just toss out the infested radishes.  I also like to plant radishes under my vine crops like peas and beans.  It’s a great way to maximize planting space.

The number one pest that the Mighty Roman Radish is known to deter the Cucumber beetle makes it a great guard for your cucumbers.  Plant 3-5 radish seeds for every cucumber seed you plant for the best defense.

Now that you know they are easy to grow, why grow them, because these little gems are loaded with healthy goodness!

Radishes are high in vitamin C, making them a good detoxifier, eliminating toxins that can make you sick. This is especially true to prevent many types of cancer including; kidney, stomach, mouth and colon cancers. But this same vitamin C is also responsible for keeping illnesses like the common cold at bay, as well as chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.

Recipe: Easy Delicious Bibb Salad

Another health benefit of radishes is due to their status as an anti-congestive, which relieves congestion in the respiratory system. When you get a cold, or an allergic flare-up or infections, a healthy dose of radishes can help clear up congestion for a quicker heal time.

Radishes are also a healthy and low-calorie way to cure jaundice, urinary disorders, fever, insect bites and kidney disorders.

Now all you have to do is add one serving of radishes to your diet this week!  You know I will be adding it in my eggs, salads and dips!!

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You can usually find me in my garden, the kitchen, at the gym or spending time with my family. I love sharing recipes, gardening and exercise tips and stories of my backyard chickens and beekeeping.
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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

ndjmom April 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm

I have done a terrible job in documenting my radishes in the garden, you just reminded me that I need to get out there tonight and do a little thinning and plant the next stage so my radish season can last longer.

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AmySue April 24, 2012 at 4:18 pm

I’m planning on planting a new batch this week too. Enjoy!

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AmySue April 24, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Sorry to her you didn’t have any luck last year, maybe a little more water??

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