Learning How to Grow Radishes is a great first step into the vegetable garden. The Radish is easy to grow and usually the first vegetable we harvest.
Growing radishes were 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 week, the roots will become pithy, flavorless, and woody. Spring radishes are ready to harvest around 3 to 5 weeks after seeding.
I planted my batch 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 varieties I won’t see in my grocery store.
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”.
They grow best in full sun to partial shade and fertile, loose soil with good drainage. Too 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 to 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.
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.
Recipe to try: Orange and Radish Salad