Radish – Misunderstood And Under Used

radish1 When to Plant Radish Crops?

I can’t speak for others, but, I do delight in harvesting and consuming radishes. I like then fresh pulled with a bit of salt. As the main ingredient or as a garnish to salads and potato dishes. Radishes are reliable and easy to grow and give a lot of bang for your seed buck. You can’t go wrong planting Sparkler, French Breakfast, Scarlet Globe and Icicle.

Spring radishes should be planted from as early as the soil can be worked until mid spring.
Hint Make successive plantings of short rows about every 7 to 14 days.
Plant in spaces between slow maturing vegetables (such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts) or in areas that will be used later for warm season crops (peppers, tomatoes and squash).
Spring radishes also can be planted in late winter in a protected cold frame, window box or container in the house or on the patio.
Later maturing varieties like (Icicle or French Breakfast ) usually withstand late spring and summer heat better than the early maturing varieties and are recommended for late spring planting or for summer harvest.
Winter radishes require a much longer time to mature than spring radishes and are planted at the same time as late season turnips.

Seed Spacing & Depth

Wait until soil temperature has reached 55%F before planting. Sow seed 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep. Thin spring varieties to 1 to 1 1/2 inch between plants. Winter radishes must be thinned to 2 to 4 inches to allow for proper development of their larger roots.
In beds, radishes may be broadcast seeded and later thinned to stand 2 to 3 inches apart in all directions.

Care And Feeding Your Radish

Radishes grow well in almost any loose soil that is prepared well, apply a general purpose fertilizer like 5-10-5 before planting and your soil has adequate moisture (damp not wet soil). Dry soil will slow radish development making your radishes taste hot and become woody in texture.

Radishes mature rapidly under favorable conditions and should be checked daily for maturity.
Harvest should begin as soon as roots reach edible size and should be consumed quickly, before heat, pithiness or seed stalks begin to develop.


Pull radishes when they are of usable size (usually staring when roots are less than 1 inch in diameter) and relatively young. Radishes remain in edible condition for only a short time before they become pithy (spongy) and hot. Proper thinning focuses the harvest and avoids disappointing stragglers that have taken too long to develop.

Winter varieties mature more slowly and can be harvested at a considerably larger size. Once they reach maturity, they maintain high quality for a long period of time, especially in cool fall weather.
Size continues to increase under favorable fall conditions. Daikon or Chinese radish, can achieve a large size and still maintain excellent quality. Winter radishes should be pulled before the ground freezes and can be stored in moist cold storage for up to several months.

Q. At what soil temperature do radish seed germinate?
A.Plant radish seed when your soil temperature has reached 55 degrees or higher.
Pre-soaking radish seed in warm 70 to 80 degree water for 2 to 4 hours will decrease time needed for seed to germinate.

Q. What causes my radishes to crack and split?
A. The radishes are too old. Pull them when they are younger and smaller. A flush of moisture after a period of relative dryness also may cause mature roots to burst and split. Try to avoid uneven moisture availability.

Q. Why do my radishes grow all tops with no root development?
A. There may be several reasons: seed planted too thickly and plants not thinned (though some roots along the outside of the row usually develop fairly well even under extreme crowding), weather too hot for the spring varieties that do best in cool temperatures (planted too late or unseasonable weather) and too much shade (must be really severe to completely discourage root enlargement).

Q. What causes my radishes to be too “hot”?
A. The “hotness” of radishes results from the length of time they have grown rather than from their size. The radishes either grew too slowly or are too old.

Breakfast Radish
Some Recommended Varieties
Spring Radish

Burpee White (25 days to harvest; round; smooth white skin)
Champion (28 days, large, round, red)
Cherry Belle (22 days, round, red)
Cherry Queen Hybrid (24 days, deep red, round, slow to become pithy)
Early Scarlet Globe (23 days; globe-shaped, small taproot, bright red)
Easter Egg (25 days; large, oval; color mix includes reddish purple, lavender, pink, rose, scarlet, white)
Fuego (25 days; round, red; medium tops; resistant to fusarium, tolerant to blackroot/black scurf)
Plum Purple (25 days, rounded, large, deep magenta)
Snow Belle (30 days, attractive, round, white, smooth)

Spring or Summer Radish

French Breakfast (23 days, oblong red with white tip)
Icicle (25 days, long, slim, tapered white)

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Why is common sense so uncommon?
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10 responses to “Radish – Misunderstood And Under Used

  1. Hi
    I live in Suffolk, England which is a good place to grow flowers and vegetables I’m told though, as we just moved here a few months ago and the garden was a ruin, I don’t know from experience.
    I’ve read a few of your gardening posts and thought them all interesting, helpful and informative, they are also well written.
    I can see that you are a veteran at blogging, I’m just a novice and will be trying to learn fast. I’ve been to Texas a few times, mostly Houston, but never visited Oklahoma, I wish I had.
    Thanks for your posts, I’ll continue to follow them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My kids and I loved growing Easter Egg radishes. Pulling them was like opening a present: which color will it be? We didn’t eat them much – using them more for aerating the soil and keeping down the weeds while slower germinating seeds got a good foothold. However, our radish-loving friends sure appreciated our gifts of fresh-grown radishes!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Now you are sounding more French than I am! I am guilty of not eating radishes. The French love them and my parents ate them all the time. I should give them a try again. I do love the big watermelon radishes in fancy restaurant salads though I never seem to find them in stores.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You have inspired me to plant some radishes and Peas..going to buy seed later this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We have really started enjoying fresh radishes the last few years but as you say, if you really want to enjoy them you need to plant every few weeks in short rows or sparingly around slow growing veggies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for taking time to visit and for your comment(s)
      Grin … I sometimes think that I’m the only one in Oklahoma that ‘admits’ that I plant radishes and like eating them as well.

      Happy Gardening


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