How to grow radishes

Raphanus sativus

While I’m not a huge fan of radishes, I love growing them. They are the quickest and easiest vegetables to grow and are highly rewarding. I quite often grow them to give away.

When can I grow radishes?

Generally speaking, radishes can be grown all year in all regions of Australia. Different types of radishes are best suited to being planted at particular times.

  • French radishes (most common) – spring (ideal) to autumn
  • European radishes (larger, longer) – late summer, autumn, winter
  • Asian radishes (also known as daikon) – autumn

Seeds or seedlings?

Plant your radishes using seeds. Like other root vegetables, radishes don’t transplant well.

Varieties of radishes

French radishes

  • Champion (Cherry belle):  deep red radish with white flesh, smooth to oval in shape, and mild in flavour
  • Scarlet Globe:  bright red with white flesh and smooth and round
  • French Breakfast: decorative scarlet radish with white oblong tip and mild in flavour

European radishes

  • Black spanish round:  large turnip shaped, with deep black skin and crispy white flesh
  • Nero Tondo:

Asian radishes

  • Daikon:  white flesh and generally harvest around 20-35cm
  • China Rose:  a Chinese winter radish with smooth rose-coloured skin
  • Plum Purple:  mild crisp sweet firm white flesh and purple skin
  • Sparkler:  round to oval shaped, scarlet skin with a splash of white on the lower third, and sweet juicy flesh
  • Watermelon:  sweet, large round white radish, tinged pale green and unique pink flesh
  • White Icicle:  white skinned, tender and mild favour, doesn’t go pithy when mature, best summer variety

Container planting

Radishes will grow beautifully in a container either on their own or in a mixed tub.

 Growing tips

  • provide a position in full-sun to semi-shade
  • radishes prefer loose, well-drained, slightly acidic soil (pH 6-7) that is free from rocks and has been enriched with plenty of organic matter.
  • don’t over-feed your radishes because this lead to excessive leaf growth at the expense of root growth. It can also result in forking.
  • water frequently to support rapid growth and crisp texture
  • keep garden beds well weeded so plants don’t have to compete with weeds
  • radishes have few pest problems but keep an eye out for any plant damage

Harvesting

You can harvest your radishes in as little as 20 to 70 days, depending upon the variety you select. It’s important to harvest them as son as they are ready because if they are left they can become woody and tough.

Happy growing!

 

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