Information on Growing Radishes:
Radishes are a root vegetable that is full of folate, fiber, riboflavin, and potassium to name a few of the health benefits of radishes. The vegetable also contains large amounts of copper, B6, magnesium, manganese, and calcium, all of which are other trace minerals that the body needs to function properly. Even better news is that you can grow your very own radishes right in your backyard garden. Below is some basic information to help you get started:
Seed Sowing Depth:
Radish seeds are to be sowed at about 1/2 inch of depth and should be spread about 12" apart between each seed planted.
When to Sow:
Radish seeds should be planted about 4-6 weeks before the first frost if being planted outdoors. Some radishes may be ready as soon as 3 weeks after they are planted as they grow much more rapidly than most other crops.
Radishes are generally sown outside as most seeds need to be planted about 12" apart and require adequate space to grow due to their quite voluminous roots. These plants can be moved to about 2" apart after they have sprouted.
Plant Height & Width:
The sprouted radish will be about 3/4" to 1" in diameter when sprouted The few small leaves are about 5" long and the roots run around 1" long. However, there is a radish called the winter radish that will grow to about 24" long with a spread that totals being about 18" wide, making the winter radish a much larger vegetable than a standard "radish".
The average medium-sized radish will end up being about 3/4 to 1" long.
The growth habits of radishes are quite unique as they can sprout from seedlings to full-grown plants that are ready to harvest in just 4-6 weeks. In fact, the radishes are recommended to be planted only 4-6 weeks before the first frost. Some varieties of radishes can grow to maturity in little as 3 weeks.
Planting radishes in the cooler weather is vital as they thrive as a cool-weather crop and grows best in 65-85 degree weather.
Crop Colors & Varieties:
Radishes come in a variety of skin colors ranging through a whole variety of colors including pink, red, purple, yellow, green, and even black. However, most will have a white, fleshy-type of skin and are firm in nature.
General Info On Radishes & It's Uses:
Radishes can be added to a garden to help ward off certain bugs as many bugs see the radishes as a nuisance and the repugnant smell wards off many bugs. Many bugs such as the larvae of flea beetles that live in the soil find this smell offensive which can help keep the beetles from chewing on other garden vegetables when the beetle fully matures. The swede midge will also find the smell offensive, which can protect plants around the radishes from being attacked and having its foliage eaten by these bugs. One can know if their crops were attacked by the swede midge if their crops stems and greens are wilted and dying.
Radish oil also has the potential to become a biofuel but more studies must be done to determine if it's an economically feasible solution to using diesel, or it if simply costs too much to make.
Radishes are also often used at folk art competitions as part of carving competitions. Many carvers have great skills in carving things like religious and popular figures into the radishes. Some competitors will even carve things like buildings or other landmarks into these vegetables. These radishes are then put up in the town square as part of a display of the talent of the artists during the show.
Pests & Diseases:
The radish is a generally hearty vegetable that will not succumb to most pests and diseases easily. However, a couple of factors can cause the radish to succumb to disease and these conditions include Cabbage Root Maggot which will eat the roots of the radish and largely kill off the crops before it can mature and be harvested. Clubroot is another problem which radishes can suffer from. Clubroot is where the roots of the plants become tangled and strangled if they are planted too close together and do not have adequate room to grow and branch out.
Harvesting Info & Storage:
When harvesting your radishes (of any variety) be sure to harvest them rapidly as they will not be good for a long period of time. The average radish will be ready for picking within 4-6 weeks but possibly in as little as 3 weeks if the radish is among certain types.Once the radish is harvested, you will need to cut off the
Once the radish is harvested, you will need to cut the tops short and dry the radishes thoroughly before storing them in plastic bags in the fridge. Radish greens are able to be stored separately as well and they will be good for about 3 days after harvesting.
Edible Uses & Flavors:
A variety of radishes are edible, as well as are their greens. Radish greens can be cooked as a vegetable side to meat dishes and eaten as part of any great meal. Radishes themselves are often diced up and put into things like salads or various vegetable mixed. Cooked radishes make a great part of a root-vegetable side dish including other root vegetables like turnips, potatoes, etc. and served as the side to a meal.
Some varieties of radishes may be grown for their seeds as well, so more radishes can be planted in the future.
Radish seeds can be used and pressed to become radish seed oil. The wild radishes have seeds that can be up to 48% oil, making it one of the richest source of radish oil there are.