Days to Harvest:
The Asian radish varieties are often referred to as “winter radishes”, because they mature late in the season and can be stored over winter. Daikon is a Japanese word meaning “great root” and some of these radishes can indeed become great in size, although not all Asian radishes are long. The black radishes tend to be the hottest. Don’t forget, the tops or greens of radishes are also edible.
Early Spring Varieties
- 'Cherry Belle' - Round, Red (22 days)
- 'Early Scarlet Globe' - Round, Red (22 days)
- 'Easter Egg' - Oval, Mixed Colors ( (25 days)
More Heat Tolerant
- 'French Breakfast' - Oblong, Red / White Base (23 days)
- 'Icicle' - Long & Slender, White (25 days)
- 'Rat Tailed' - Grown for its edible pods, not its root. (45 - 50 days)
- 'China Rose' - Red Skin / White Flesh ((52 days)
- 'Round Black Spanish' - Black Skin / White Flesh ((55 days)
- Daikon - Long, White and surprisingly mild (60 days)
Planting RadishesRadishes are direct seeded in the garden. They can be started very early in the spring, as soon as the ground is relatively dry, again towards the end of summer, for a fall garden, and even in late fall, with the protection of a cold frame. Radishes can be squeezed in between other plants and are good at loosening and cultivating soil for slower sprouting vegetables, like carrots.
Sow seeds 1/4 to ½ inch deep. You’ll want at least and 2 inches between plants, but seedlings can be thinned and eaten when they are an inch or two tall.
MaintenanceSince radishes are so quick growing, they don’t require fertilizing, although a rich well-draining soil is needed to begin with. Check size frequently, to harvest before they begin to decline.
To have a continual harvest, sow a new crop every 10 - 14 days, until it gets too warm.
Harvesting RadishesSpring Radishes - The fast maturing, round radishes are ready for harvest in 3-4 weeks. You’ll usually see the top portion of the radish poking up through the soil. When it appears to be almost an inch across, it is ready to pick. Radishes can be harvested by pulling or by gently loosening the surrounding soil. Don’t let mature radishes sit in the ground or they will get either woody or spongy.
Winter Radishes - The long, Asian radish varieties take longer to mature, sometimes up to 3 months. They should be harvested before the ground freezes and can be stored for several months.
The thinned plants of all varieties can be used as salad greens or on sandwiches or floating on soups.
Growing Radishes in ContainersThe fast growing, spring radishes grow quite well in pots and growing them this way is a good option if you are plagued by root maggots. They will need at least 4" of soil depth and lots of water.
Pests and Problems:
- Cabbage Root Maggots are more of a problem in northern gardens, where they will tunnel into radishes.
- Cutworms can also feed on radishes.
- Flea beetles will make Swiss cheese of radish leaves, but don’t injure the bulb.
Monitor to catch these insects before they destroy the whole crop. You can avoid them almost entirely by growing your radishes under row covers.
Radishes decline in quality when the temperature warms. They can get tough and woody or spongy with hollow centers. Once a radish bolts, or goes to seed, the bulb stops forming.