Eager to start your very first vegetable garden but don’t know where to start? Radishes are one of the best veggies for your garden if this is your first time trying to raise plants. Learning how to grow radishes doesn’t take too much time.
By the end of this informative guide, you’ll tackle the task of growing radishes head-on and dive right into planting other root vegetables.
One of the first gardening questions that people ask is how long do radishes take to grow? Instead of worrying about the time it takes for plants to mature, focus on giving them everything they demand to thrive at your house.
Luckily, radish plants are extra hardy and quick to develop. You might be wondering how to utilize radishes after you harvest them, but we haven’t even begun to go into detail about the foods that they complement.
The peppery radish roots add bold flavors and crunchy bites to salads, sandwiches, and appetizers, but they taste even better when sautéed, steamed, or roasted. This root crop is our best suggestion for a beginning gardener, and you’ll soon fall in love with their tender seed pods.
- Information about Radish Plants
- Guidelines for Growing Radishes
Information about Radish Plants
Radishes are scientifically referred to as Raphanus sativus, and these plants belong to the Brassicaceae family. They are closely related to mustards, broccoli, cauliflower, arugula, cabbage, and parsnips.
Radishes are tolerant of cool weather and are believed to have originated from southeastern Asia. These crops were one of the earliest ever harvested, and one of the first veggies brought to the Americas.
Gardeners who are learning how to grow radishes choose between annual or biennial gardening. They are primarily grown for their swollen taproots that are round, tapered, or cylindrical shaped.
Small cultivars like the Cherry Belle are less than one inch across, and large cultivars like Daikon have roots that reach down as far as 24 inches. The colors vary, and there are shades of red, pink, white, yellow, mauve, and even black.
Guidelines for Growing Radishes
If you’re excited to start planting radishes, you need to comprehend all the basics of gardening and review their general requirements. Paying attention to the small details is how you harvest a large yield at the end of the growing season.
How Long do Radishes Take to Grow?
How long do radishes take to grow? There are three different types of radishes: early, midseason, and late. Early radishes, also called spring radishes, require the cooler months of early spring and autumn to develop the right way.
Under the right conditions, spring varieties mature in less than 30 days. Midseason radishes are more likely to tolerate hot weather and are suitable for successive planting from as early as May and all the way through August.
These varieties are usually smaller, and they take at least 30 to 40 days to mature. Late radishes or winter radishes are sown in late summer and throughout the winter in warmer growing zones. These kinds have more extensive roots that require 60 to 70 days to develop.
Preparing Soil to Plant Radishes
Radishes are a taproot crop, and they like to have cool, fertile, and loose soil to grow. Whether you’re tilling your own garden in your yard, using a raised bed, or planting them in pots, giving them the correct type of soil is one of the most crucial components to success.
Radishes are heavy feeders that like having soil amended with fertile, organic matter such as manure or compost. Use an all-purpose fertilizer on the area with one cup of fertilizer for every ten feet of garden rows.
As long as it gets worked into the top six inches of the ground, it should be good enough for them to grow.
Fertilizer isn’t the only component you need to pay attention to when prepping the beds. It is fine to sow seeds when the soil temperatures are around 40°F, but germination rates improve from 55°F to 70°F.
It may not be your first time gardening, but it doesn’t hurt to brush up on fertilizer ratios.
When shopping for fertilizer, you might notice that there are three numbers listed. The first number represents nitrogen, the second represents phosphorus, and the third is for potassium.
Nitrogen-rich soil is associated with flourishing leafy greens. Every single plant protein contains nitrogen. It is essential for chlorophyll that gives the plants their green coloring.
Phosphorus metabolizes and transfers energy throughout the plant from the tip of its roots all the way up to the towering green leaves and radish seeds. Strong roots are vital for healthy growth and robust round radishes.
Potassium regulates the whole plant and governs the metabolism and distribution of water to all parts. Because cold temperatures make it more challenging for the plant to access nutrients through the soil, these supplements are vital early in the growing season.
How to Grow Radishes
Spring varieties of radishes can be planted four to six weeks before the last frost of spring or whenever the soil surface becomes workable.
Do green onions and radishes need full sun? They will definitely do better with more sun than less. Choose a spot around your property that receives at least six hours of sunshine daily. Although they sometimes tolerate partial shade, too much means that they start putting all their energy into the leaves and not the roots.
Don’t sow radish seeds too closely together, or they compete for nutrients and become crowded. Sow plants about a half-inch deep and keep the row spacing 12 to 18 inches apart.
If you place each radish seed about an inch apart from each other, you won’t have to constantly thin out the veggies as they develop. Cover the seeds with the remaining soil and water them thoroughly.
If you prefer to have a continuous harvest for several weeks, plant another set of seeds every ten days while the weather is still cold. If you hope to plant in the fall, sow your seeds four to six weeks before the first fall frost.
Caring for Radishes
When your plants are about one week old, thin them to two inches apart. Crowded plants don’t always grow well. Even and consistent moisture makes or breaks you during this process.
Continue to water your plants every week, but don’t allow them to become waterlogged. If possible, install a drip irrigation system. Add a thin layer of organic wood mulch around the base of the radishes if you experience dry conditions.
Choosing between cultivars is an essential step in the garden process. One spring variety is the Burpee radish. Burpee radishes have a fast growth rate, and weeding isn’t usually necessary around these roots.
The roots are shallower than other types and just below the soil surface. Deep hoeing usually does more harm than good with these kinds. Other popular spring radishes are Early Scarlet Globe and Easter Egg.
French Breakfast and White Icicle radishes are two choices that are best if you plan to grow them during the hotter summer months.
However, you must water them more if the soil temperature goes up too much. Dry conditions make the radishes bolt faster and become pithy.
The best winter performers are Round Black Spanish and China White radishes. They take extra long to mature, and you won’t want to miss out on the prime time to plant them in the late summer.
What Attacks Radish Plants?
Radishes grow fast enough that pests and diseases usually aren’t something that most gardeners worry about. This quick time doesn’t mean it is impossible, though, just that it’s less common than with other plants.
Flea beetles and root maggots are two kinds of insects that you might spot around your radishes. Thankfully, there are simple fixes for both of them.
A row cover is your best bet in deterring pests from snacking on your crops and laying eggs. On top of covering them, implement a three-year rotation system that prevents you from planting radishes in areas where other brassica plants were growing.
Companion Planting with Radishes
Since you’re already learning how to grow radishes, find out how many plants work with and against your radishes.
The goal of a successful garden is to have everything complement each other so that there is minimal competition for nutrients and space. Some plants deter your crop’s pests, and others overcrowd them and stunt their growth.
Radishes are a great plant because they repel most insects that find their way into your gardens. Do you know what veggies to plant together to help each other? Planting radishes next to beans, cucumbers, parsnips, peas, beets, tomatoes, lettuce, mint, and squash are all safe options.
If you don’t care to eat many radishes, use them as a trap around your onion plants to attract root maggots to them instead. Dispose of the radishes once you harvest your onions if you plan to use them this way.
Harvesting and Storing Fresh Radishes
The timing of harvesting radishes is important because if you wait too long, the once tender roots turn woody and have a bitter flavor. If you prefer to harvest radishes early, gently pull them from the ground when they are about the size of a large marble.
Brush off the excess soil and wash them well right before you use them. Store the leaves separately from the roots in plastic bags in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
Harvest spring and summer radish varieties as soon as you can because they deteriorate rapidly. After picking them, remove the greens and store them in plastic bags or an airtight container in your fridge.
Winter varieties are slightly different than other radish types. They are safe to leave in the ground up to the first frost without compromising their integrity. These types are extra cold-hardy and keep well in the refrigerator for a few weeks.
Root cellars are ideal for long-term storage options. If you don’t have one, try turning them into pickles and canning them.
Warm the vinegar, sugar, water, mustard seed, celery seed, dill seed, peppercorns, and salt in a large or medium pot until they come to a boil. Carefully slice the radishes with a mandolin into your desired thickness.
Fill two sterilized clean jars with radishes and pour even amounts of the brine over each. Add one bay leaf and chili pepper to each jar.
Wipe the rims of the jars dry and place the seals on and rings. Bring a large stockpot full of fresh water to a boil. Gently place the two jars inside the water and give them a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
Carefully remove the piping hot jars and set them on the counter without disturbing them for 24 hours. The jars should make a popping noise when they seal correctly.
Other Ways to Cook with Radishes
You aren’t limited to only using raw veggies on a salad. Substitute radishes whenever you plan on roasting potatoes if you need to use them up and want to try something different for the night.
Heat your oven until it reaches 400°F. Toss the halved radishes together with the oil and spices and then lay them over a baking tray.
Roast the radishes for 35 minutes or until they are golden and crispy outside and tender inside. Season the radishes with extra salt and pepper to taste before serving.
How long do radishes take to grow? These plants are the perfect choice if you’re looking for something that takes minimal time and effort to grow. Radishes are a good garden choice no matter how much experience you have and are enjoyed by all.
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