Often the first fresh vegetable to crop up in local farmers’ markets, the radish is a welcome sign of spring. Varieties include the classic red Cherry Belle, the slender and tapered White Icicle, the scarlet heirloom German Giant, the elegant Lady Slipper, and a favorite, the French Breakfast Radish. Radishes germinate in as few as 3-5 days and crop in as short a period as a month. So, the radish is the perfect vegetable for young gardeners to assist with and a welcome quick harvest for more seasoned, sometimes impatient gardeners to enjoy.
A spicy sprout to add a little perk to sandwiches, salads etc.. Mix with alfalfa sprouts for a favorite sandwich cruncher.
2 to 6 days. Arguably the most striking of the sprouting raddishes. This reddish-stemmed radish with stunning purple cotyledons adds visual appeal and a radish snap to salads and sandwiches.
2 to 6 days. Another striking sprouting radish that boast the same wonderful dark cotyledons and Sango. The rosy stems and bright flavor add both a tasty flair and a great look to cold foods.
30-80 days. Unique
watermelon-colored radish with a crisp sweet flesh. Light green to white
outside deepens in color when exposed to sunlight, giving this radish its
namesake. This Asian type radish is best grown in cool soils. Often
grown over winter where climate allows.
25-30 days. Bright purple skin, firm white flesh,
crisp, sweet and mild all season, never pithy of hot, hardy and adaptable.
Micro 10 days, baby greens 20 days, mature 35 days. A great radish grown mainly for greens and microgreens. This radish shows a rose-red stem and green cotyledons. The young green the leaves are nearly hairless with a mild fresh flavor. Something new for you spring mix. Quick and easy to grow.
50-70 days. This winter radish is slower to mature than most regular radishes. Plant them in the fall and harvest as needed. They have a great zippy flavor, a bit hotter than most. Large greens. In mild climates, they are traditionally grow over winter like Asian radishes. Can also be planted early in the spring. Attractive black skin with pure white flesh. Very good keeper.
Radishes are hardy with a reputation for ease. Garden-to-Kitchen author Nigel Slater recommends sowing “even before the daffodils have finished flowering.” Seed radishes now, in the early spring (if you haven’t already). Thin the seedlings when they reach 2-3 inches. Keep the soil moist, but not too wet. After an initial sowing, you can stagger plantings every week to week and a half to yield radishes regularly in your garden. Take a break from radishes in the hottest months of summer, since mild radishes grow best in cooler weather. “The hotter the soil, the hotter the radish.” Radishes will again do well in the autumn as weather becomes more temperate. For both spring and fall/winter crops, harvest just as radishes mature, before becoming large and fiery. Radishes are best used promptly, but to store short term, cut the greens (also delicious!) and store in the crisper of the refrigerator.
Radishes add a piquant and peppery bite to your table. They’re additionally rich in dietary fiber, vitamin C, folate, and potassium. Slice them over toast with hummus; toss into a leafy green salad; mix into a pasta salad or rice pilaf; or pop them in your mouth plain. Radishes’ flavor pairs well with creamy goat cheese and Greek yogurt, lemon, salt (you won’t want to pepper these already peppery fellows), or fresh herbs like dill, cilantro, or mint, One of my favorite spring salads highlights the tang of the radish, balancing it with other early spring favorites like fresh chickpeas and ruffled purple basil.
If there is such a thing as instant gratification in gardening radishes come closest to that than almost anything. Because of this nature they are excellent crops for children to begin with. They are also varied enough and striking in color to keep their interest. While they are typically red they are also found in white, pink and even purple. They are a welcome addition to any salad.
Start planting radishes in the spring and plant successive plantings every two weeks for continuous harvest. Or you can simply have one harvest and then plant something else when that harvest is complete. They tend to bolt in the heat of the summer so if you intend to plant for a continual harvest you may want to skip the hottest time of the summer. Ample water, space and weeding will ensure full growth. They respond well to fertile soil but do not require such to produce well. Radishes can also be grown in containers amongst other plants that will shade them from the heat of the summer. Larger radishes have a stronger taste and smaller ones are thought to be better tasting so harvest them when they are fully grown but not too large. Around three fourths to an inch in diameter.