The great thing about growing radish is that they are simple and easy to grow, mature early and taste good. It is an ideal vegetable to encourage children and adults to try vegetable gardening.
Radishes grow in any good, well cultivated soil. Sow the seed in rows at a depth approximately 7 times the diameter of the seed. It is normal to grow radish as an early crop but it is best to wait until the soil temperature is over 8 degrees centigrade for rapid growth.
Sow seed thinly in the rows. This will save time consuming thinning out of the seedlings as they grow. Once growing they need to grow unchecked for about 40 days until maturity for the best flavours. Sow a short row every three weeks to ensure a continuous supply to pick and eat.
The European radishes we normally grow are small and tasty round or oblong root crop in a range of colours from dark red to white and all variations in between.
Some people suggest growing radish with a row of carrots as the radish grow first and show gardeners where the row is. However if left too long in the carrots they will smother the carrots and slow their growth down. A better option is to sow separate rows of radish or sow a row between rows of carrots so that the carrots can grow unchecked.
European radishes are best eaten straight from the garden when they are fresh and plump. Keep cool in a fridge and remove the green tops, clean and eat raw in salads.
There are two groups of radish, European red radish and the Asian radish with their long, usually white, mild roots. The Asian radish are more versatile as a vegetable and can be grated in salads or pickled, and stir fried or used in soups, casseroles and sauces.
In Japan 25% of their total vegetable crop is Daiken radish – a long white root crop of which there are several varieties; “White Icicle”, Minowase Long White F1” and “Tokinash”. These longer Daikon radishes are quite easy to grow in deep friable soil. Sow the seeds about 25mm deep in the row and cover. Once growing thin out the seedlings so they are about 80mm apart to allow them to grow rapidly to full size.
These radishes stay fresh, crisp and tender longer than European varieties.
There are a number of different cultivars to grow depending upon your requirements.
· Round red Cultivars
· Longer red Cultivars
· Daikon radish cultivars
· Pink and purple round radish
· Round Black radish
· Radish “watermelon” White with pink centre.