The radish, with the scientific name Raphanus sativus , is an annual or biennial plant depending on the species, which is known throughout the world for the culinary value of its roots, as some do not have much flavor while others are quite biting. It is a plant that finds its origin in the Eurasia area, but has currently spread globally.
If you want to learn how to sow and grow radishes to be able to enjoy their consumption in an ecological way, join us in this article in which we will teach you how to do it correctly step by step.
When to plant radishes
The most common is to sow radishes in spring , two weeks before the last frost, but most varieties of this plant can be grown throughout the period from spring to fall. In fact, planting them every 15 days to be able to collect them in a staggered way and thus enjoy a recent harvest for a longer time is a fairly widespread and recommended practice.
If you choose a spring radish like cherry belle, which are the most common, you can start sowing in spring or fall. Summer radishes, on the other hand, grow somewhat slower and winter radishes, such as daikon, are much older, with more starch content and are planted in late summer.
How to plant radishes
Radishes do not need to be transplanted, so they can be sown directly in their final location, both outdoors and in containers that have a suitable bottom depending on the size of the species to be planted. Follow these tips to grow radishes successfully :
- Choose an area that receives full sun or semi-shade , depending on the type of climate in your area. If you have a particularly hot climate, it will be better to give them some shade, while, if it is a temperate zone, it will be better to expose it to as much sun as possible.
- It is also important that the land has good drainage and that it has a pH of around 7.4 . With lower pHs, you risk the cabbage hernia fungus showing up and infecting your radishes. If your soil has a pH lower than this value, you can raise it with lime.
- At least a week before planting, enrich the soil with plenty of organic matter , as these plants are very demanding when it comes to nutrients.
- Bury the seeds about 1 cm deep , about 2 to 3 cm apart. If you plant in a garden, in several rows, respect about 30 centimeters between rows.
- Water after planting the seeds , and do it again every time the soil looks dry. A common variety of spring radish will germinate in about 3-5 days if all goes well.
How to grow radishes – basic care
We have already talked about the sun and pH needs of the soil of this plant. Therefore, below, we talk about more details to learn how to grow radishes correctly with these basic care:
Irrigation of radishes
When it comes to watering, radishes need abundant and, above all, uniform watering. You should water regularly every time the soil cracks, although without ever getting waterlogged. If you let go several days without watering and then water heavily to make up for it, your radishes are likely to crack as they grow.
Fertilize the radishes two weeks after planting them to give them an extra supply of nutrients that make their roots grow.
Coexistence with other plants in the garden
Also, pay special attention to removing weeds, which can rob radishes of nutrients from the soil and make them grow less. Also keep in mind that this plant works very well as a companion plant in the garden, as it keeps many insects away. They will work especially well alongside cabbages, carrots, and parsnips.
How to grow spicier radishes
If you want your radishes to taste spicier than usual, you can play with watering: reducing it increases that aspect of its flavor.
When to harvest radishes
When their roots are around 2.5 cm in diameter , most varieties are ready for harvest. Keep in mind that larger varieties will need a larger size before being harvested, of course. Don’t let them grow too long or they will become hard and unsightly in texture. Also, if they get to seed, their flavor will be spoiled.
Remove the dirt from around and use a shovel to extract the radishes from below without damaging them. Once harvested, they should be eaten while they are fresh, although you can store them in a cool, dark area for up to 15 days.