Tag Archives: Radish

Home Grown Salad – Seed To Fork

Lettuce is fast growing cool weather crop that quickly reaches maturity. It is a cool season plant best grown in the spring and fall of the year in most of the U.S. With so many loose leaf and head varieties your most difficult decision is which varieties to plant.

First plant the cold tolerant lettuce varieties in the cool early spring months, then sow the heat tolerant varieties in late spring to spread out your lettuce harvest as long as possible. Stage plant lettuce, planting pots and beds every 7 to 10 days.
Lettuce benefits from a rich well drained soil.
Fertilize lettuce using a nigh nitrogen based fertilizer, something like 10-5-5.

Hint Lettuce seed require exposure to sun light to germinate.
Sprinkle seeds on top of the soil, and lightly cover or scratch them into the bed just below the surface of the soil. It is helpful to cover pots and beds with clear plastic to prevent your soil from drying out before your lettuce seed germinate. For best performance, Lettuce must be kept moist, Not Wet, throughout its growing season.

Harvest Lettuce at any stage of growth, small, young plants are tender with a delicate flavor.

Some proven and reliable Lettuce varieties are listed for your consideration.

Cold-Weather Lettuce
Arctic King (green, semiheading)
Brune d’Hiver (green, semiheading)
Rouge d’Hiver (red, romaine type)
Winter Marvel (green, semiheading)

Cool-Weather Lettuce
Buttercrunch (green, semiheading)
Four Seasons (red and green, semiheading)
Lolla Rossa (red, leaf lettuce)
Royal Oakleaf (green, leaf lettuce)
Tom Thumb (green, semiheading)

Heat-Tolerant Lettuce
Black Seeded Simpson (green, leaf lettuce)
Craquerelle du Midi (green, romaine type)
Red Riding Hood (red, semiheading)
Two Star (green, leaf lettuce)

Kale is a hardy, cool season green that is part of the ‘cole’ cabbage family. It grows best in the spring and fall and can tolerate frosts. Kale is rich in minerals and vitamins A and C.

You can plant kale anytime from early spring to early summer. If you plant kale late in the summer you can harvest it from Fall until the ground freezes in Winter.

Spinach has similar growing conditions and requirements as lettuce, it is nutritious and can be eaten raw or cooked. Spinach is high in iron, calcium, vitamins and is a excellent source of vitamin A, B, and C.

Plant seeds when your soil temperature is 40%F to 75%F. Seeds may fail to germinate in warm soils. Plant seed 1/2 to 1 inch deep and 2 inch apart cover lightly with soil. After germination, thin plants 4 to 6 inches apart. Keep your seed bed damp ‘Not Wet’ to speed germination.

Swiss Chard Plant in full sun or particular shade. Chard prefers full sun early in the season, part shade in summer when it’s warm. Chars will Tolerate moderate frosts, but don’t plant in very early spring. Seed Germinates when your soil reaches 40%F to 95%F, but is best around 70%F.

Chard likes well drained moist (Not Wet) soil. It prefers deep, loose, fertile soil, high in organic matter, with pH 6.0 to 7.0. Needs consistent moisture, especially as plants grow large.
Chard will benefit from a mid season fertilization using a N-P-K of something like 10-5-5.

Beets like full sun and will handle light shade. Beets are not heavy feeders and tolerates low fertility soils. Plant beets in well drained loam to silt loam soil, high in organic matter. Beets tolerate low fertility and light frost but require consistent moisture.

Beet seed Germinates from about 40%F to 85%F but around 50%F is a good soil planting temperature. Seed will begin to emerge in 5 to 8 days. Don’t panic it may take two to three weeks in cooler soils.

Temperature, it’s all about the soil temperature.
Soil temperature is almost never to warm, however, soils that are to cool and damp at worst can cause your seed to rot in the ground and at best take many days to germinate. Seedling in cool soil grow slowly and often do not develop into healthy productive plants.

vegetable seed germination chart

herb seed germination chart

Words of wisdom: Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day. Harry S Truman

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Horseradish – Easy to grow

Horseradish is a easy to grow root crop of the crucifer family which has an oil that contains the sulfur compound allyl isothyocyanate. This compound imparts the strong pungent odor and hot, biting flavor to the root.
The roots are carrot like in shape, usually rough and white to cream in color. The plant may grow to a height of three feet.
Caution Leaves have no culinary value and contain a slightly poisonous compound.

Horseradish plants will grow well in usda zones 4 to 8 in fertile, well drained soils. They are propagated by planting pieces of side roots that are taken from the main root. The roots are planted in late winter or early spring. Horseradish is difficult to eradicate once it is established. New plants regenerate from root bits left in the soil. Horseradish is harvested in late fall in most areas.
Mulch deeply to help retain soil moisture and control weeds.

Look for roots that are free of blemishes and bruises and that are creamy white in color. The roots should be fairly turgid and firm. Horseradish is best if utilized shortly after harvesting.

Horseradish goes well with most beef dishes.
** Try this sandwich spread on your next BBQ beef sandwich for your new favorite spread.
This is a simple basic quick easy to make horseradish sauce that will keep a week or more refrigerated in an airtight container.

1 cup sour cream or (Optionally use Mayonnaise)
1/4 cup grated fresh horseradish
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
* Optional 1 clove grated garlic
* Optional 1 tsp grated lemon rind
* Optional pinch of red pepper flakes
* Optional garnish with chopped chives

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Last Chance – almost.. Plant your Fall and early Winter garden this weekend

It seems that there is always something that needs fixing. Browsers and windows 10 seem to be in a long battle with each other to take control of our monitors or smart phones screens. It is the end users that must suffer when windows 10 and browser programmers and coders are in conflict.

Fast growing cool weather crops like lettuce, turnips and radishes can still be planted in zones 6-10.

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10 Easy to grow garden crops

The Old Farmers Almanac Has a lot of Useful as well as fun information for farmers and Gardeners no matter how big or small your farm / garden or your age.

Mother Earth News What mother earth news about says the 10 Best Garden Crops for Beginners.

If you’re a beginner, consider starting with the 10 crops discussed below. All are easy to grow, and this combination offers lots of possibilities for cooking. Some of these crops are best grown by setting out started seedlings, but most are easy to grow from a packet of seed planted directly in your garden soil.

1. Radishes. Radishes do well even in not so great garden soil and are ready to harvest in only a few weeks(3-5). Plant the seeds anytime the air temperatures remain above freezing.

2. Salad greens (beet and turnip tops, lettuce, spinach, arugula and corn salad). Pick your favorite, or try a mix. Many companies sell mixed packets for summer and winter gardening. Plant the seeds in spring and fall, and you can pick salads almost year round.

3. Green beans. Easy to grow and prolific. If you get a big crop, they freeze well, and they’re also delicious when pickled with dill as dilly beans. Start with seeds after all danger of frost has passed.

4. Onions. Start with small plants, and if they do well, you can harvest bulb onions. If not, you can always eat the greens.

5. Strawberries. Perfectly ripe strawberries are unbelievably sweet, and the plants are surprisingly hardy. Buy bare root plants in early spring. Put this perennial in a sunny spot and keep it well watered and weed free.

6. Peppers. Both hot peppers and bell peppers are easy to grow. Start with plants and let peppers from the same plant ripen for different lengths of time to get a range of colors and flavors.

7. Bush zucchini. This squash won’t take up as much room in your garden as many other types, and it’s very prolific. Start from seeds or transplants. You won’t need more than a few plants for a bumper crop.

8. Tomatoes. There’s just no substitute for a perfectly ripe homegrown tomato, and it’s hard to go wrong when you start with strong plants. If you get a big crop, consider canning or freezing your excess tomato’s.

9. Basil. Many herbs are easy to grow, but basil is a good choice because it’s a nice complement to tomatoes or any tomato dish. Basil is easy to grow from seeds or from transplants.

10. Potatoes. An easy-to-grow staple that stores well when kept cool. A simple and low maintenance approach is to plant potatoes in straw rather than soil. ‘Seeds’ are whole or cut sections of potatoes, sold in early spring.

Lifehacker has a lot of good useful information for the novice gardener, even if some of it is a bit on the wacky side of gardening.

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Carrots, Parsnips, Radishes, Turnips, And Rutabagas

Carrots, parsnips, radishes, turnips, and rutabagas all have similar cultural requirements and grow in cool weather. Since they are hardy, they may be planted early in the spring, and left in the garden until fall. In addition, tops of beets and turnips are commonly used as cooked greens and can be harvested while the plants are young.

Root crops like to be grown in full sun but most will tolerate light afternoon share.
Seed Germination temperature is 50F to 85F. Most will germinate at temperatures as low a 40F. They will germinate in about a week at 75F.

Soil preparation is very important in achieving success with the root crops. They grow best in a deep, rock free, loose well drained soil that retains moisture.
Root crops do not grow well in very acid soils.
Nitrogen recommendations for beets, carrots, parsnips, and rutabagas are about 3/4 to 1 cup of urea/100 sq. ft. Apply half during seed bed preparation and sidedress the other half in mid-season.
Radishes and turnips, nitrogen recommendations are about 1/2 cup urea/100 sq. ft. to be broadcast and incorporated before planting.
You can improve your soil by adding well rotted manure or compost. Do not use fresh manure as it can stimulate branching of the roots, compromising the quality of the crop and may increase weed problems.
Till the soil deeply, then smooth the surface in order to prepare a good seedbed.

Plant radishes and turnips beginning about April 15 for a spring crop, and again August 1 for a fall crop.
Start planting carrots and beets beginning April 15.
Plant parsnips beginning May 1.
For a continuous supply of young carrots, make two or three plantings spaced two or three weeks apart.
Rutabagas require a long growing season and should be planted May 15 for a fall crop.

Carrots, parsnips, radishes, and turnips should be thinned to 2-3 inch spacing. Rutabagas should be thinned to a 8 inch spacing.

Root crops need at least 1 inch of water from rainfall or irrigation each week during the growing season. Always soak the soil thoroughly when watering. Your soil should remain ‘damp’ not wet.

Grow Carrots in containers
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Rain Water 100 % Better Than Tap Water

Two days of 50 and 60 degree weather and almost 2 inches of rain. Radishes seem to double in size and onions have shot up by at least 2 inches or more in the past 2 days. Grin … that’s a good thing. Tomato’s seedlings have stalled out and are waiting for warmer weather to resume growing.

With this nice rain, soil is wet enough that I will plant a short row of Detroit beets and another row of Turnips. I’m not a big fan of turnip roots but I do like young tender beet and turnip greens.

Today is a good day to empty, clean and refill my hummingbird feeders.

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Mud On My Feet Is Better Than Sand In My Eyes

Weather man must have been asleep at his computer terminal. We are getting a un-forecast rain. Since 2:15AM I have received 1.15 inches of rain. Well it’s not me most rain I have ever had, but, it’s the most I have had in a very long time.

I had to construct a new blade for my old horse drawn road grader(built around 1905). I finely have taken time to design the mounting brackets, welded the brackets to the back side of the blade and have it bolted to the blade table. That’s the part that allows me to rotate the blade left to right as well as tilt the blade.

I think all I still need to do is to build and mount a tongue so the road grader can be pulled behind a tractor or pick-up truck. A good paint job and it will make a Grin … an interesting yard ornament.
The horse drawn Lister re-build has been finished and it is still waiting a paint job. After they are painted I will post pictures of both.

In the garden, Sunday I pulled enough container grown Radishes and Green Onions to top off a nice dinner salad. Beets are still a bit to small to harvest.
I have 6 pots with grape tomato seedlings and 2 pots of better girl tomato’s about 3/4 inch tall. I will plant then in the garden after they have set their first ‘true’ leafs.

During the winter I constructed a 50 foot long drip watering line. Emitters are spaced about every 2 feet. This summers garden experiment I will plant tomato’s every 4 feet and plant cucumbers, yellow squash or zucchini between each tomato vine. I think mostly cucumbers and tomato’s.

In a week or so the soil temperature will be warm enough to direct garden plant my warm weather plants, cucumbers, squash and okra.

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Where Have All The Hummingbirds Gone?

About 10 days ago I made a batch of sugar water(1 cup sugar, 4 cups water) and hung my Hummingbird feeders. Before dark I had 2 pair of Ruby Throat Hummingbirds finding and feeding from my new feeders.

Then the next day I had the start of a few days of overcast, cooler weather. Hummingbirds must have gone back to Mexico, They because they are no longed feeding at my new feeders! However I do have 4 or 5 pair of Eurasian Doves coming twice a day to feed, a few Red Wing Black birds and a pair of Red birds.

It’s almost mid-week and the sun is shining, temperature is bumping 80 degrees, but the west wind is holding steady at 30 mph gusting to 35 or 40 mph. Not really a nice day to garden.

On the brighter side, many of the onion sets I planted in my patio pots are shooting bright green shoots skyward. A few Radish seeds and Beet seed have germinated and are showing the promise of making a fresh spring time salad. Fresh green onions, radish and beets. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Pear, Apple, Cherry, Peach and Apricot trees are in full bloom every where you look. Mesquite trees are setting bugs. Mesquite trees seldom get fooled and get hit with a late freeze. So, taking my lead from my old Mesquite tree. Today sweet corn will be planted. Early planted corn has a better chance of avoiding being attack by ear and root worms.

The wheat and cereal rye seed son-n-law drilled (8 acres) in late last fall is up and providing good grazing for our livestock. I had almost decided that we had not received enough rain for get a crop up. But I think that slow melting be had in late January did the trick.

I’m off like a shot in the dark. Corn seed in hand.

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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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