By Jannie Vaught
This is a fast growing early to plant must have in my gardens. The radish belongs to the Cruciferae family and its scientific name is Raphanus sativus L. or the mustard family. It is a annual or biannual plant. It has a thick fleshy root , varying in shapes and size, of a red, white, pink or dark brown skin, there are black and even watermelon-colored varieties. Currently there are 35 types of radishes. They are pungent to spicy hot in flavor. These like marginal soil quality, too much feeding and it will produce abundant leaves and small to nothing roots. Plant these direct as they do not transplant well. Plant in April through May for spring crop and again in August 1 through September ! for a fall crop. I just harvested my first radishes and will wait a week for the soil to rest and plant again as we are still in the spring planting time. Spacing radish seeds, plant 1 inch apart and about 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep gently pat them in and they need light mist watering until they develop as too strong of a water spray can dislodge them. Plant larger radishes such as white icicle and Daikon even the Black radish I have found to grow very large.
They will shoulder out with their green leaves, this is normal. They can also grow successfully in container gardens; I plant them as an edge in my raised beds. You can use store bought low clear storage containers with a recycle with a 5 in the mark as this is safe for food growing. 1 part peat and the rest potting mix. No fertilizer as this will cause them to bolt. Drill holes in the bottom for drainage. Fill to about 1 inch from the top, pat down wet the soil and plant. Using a 3-inch grid. One seed in each hole. Place on your grow table with something to block them up for drainage. These will sprout fast about 25 days for the red types. You can also plant Daikon and White icicle in-ground garden to naturally break-up hard pan or clay soils. No till cattle ranches are using daikon planted in pasture when they are mature the cattle are tuned in to eat, turn up the soil and apply manure.
If your radishes are too spicy try slicing spread a little butter on the slice and sprinkle salt.. Radish spread for crackers; grate the radish, squeeze out excess water, mix with butter some of your favorite herbs and salt spread on toast or crackers. Growing radish is also a good starter for your or beginning gardeners.
Growing Green With Jannie