Growing Radishes

by Stephanie Suesan Smith on August 29, 2010

Radishes do not get much respect.  One of the earliest vegetables to produce, they are usually thought of as those little globes of red on trays of crudites served at parties in place of real food.  Radishes can be tasty if grown properly.  While the basic color scheme is red or white, or a combination, they come in globe or long versions for variety.

Radishes are one of the first crops planted in the spring and take four to five weeks to produce eating size radishes.  They become woody and do not taste good if allowed to stay in the ground too long.  However, when pulled on time, the leaves can also be eaten.  One ten foot row will feed a family of four unless they eat an unusually large amount of radishes.

Radishes are one of the few vegetables that will grow in partial shade.  As Gayla mentions in You Grow Girl, the globe radishes are excellent candidates for container gardening.  Even the longer radishes can be grown in pots if you choose a bigger pot, or a #2 washtub with holes poked in the bottom for drainage.

Radishes are also ideal for square foot gardening as they can be planted at a high density and thinned as they grow.  In fact, radishes have such small seeds you cannot help but plant them very closely together.  Plant 1/2 inches deep and 1 inch apart.  To enjoy radishes for a longer part of the spring, plant one third of the row, wait 8-10 days and plant the next third, then another 8-10 days before planting the final third.  As the roots start expanding on the baby plants, thin to one plant every two inches.  You can eat the ones you thin in salad, along with their tops.

Radishes are related to both the turnip and horseradish, so they have some kick.  Those that are raised in the heat of summer or are allowed to get too  big have a lot more kick.  According to Tina Wilson of Small Town Living, radishes that are too hot can be sliced and soaked in salty water for about 30 minutes to draw some of the heat out.

The radishes can be saved in the refrigerator for about three weeks.  The tops keep three days.  Radishes don’t have many problems with insects or diseases because they grow so fast.  You can throw ones that get too mature in the compost heap to make room for the next crop on your list.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul Novak August 30, 2010 at 3:35 am

Well heck. I actually love radishes. I used to load my salads with em and even munch on em by themselves now and then. Your post reminds me that it has literally been YEARS since I’ve eaten one. I don’t even remember seeing them in the store now that I think about it. I


Stephanie Suesan Smith August 30, 2010 at 8:24 am

Depending on where you live, you can plant some now and have them in about a month. Check you feed stores or nurseries for seed packets and try it. In this case, buying one packet of cheap seeds would be a way to see if you enjoy it and still like radishes.


AnnaWalsh August 30, 2010 at 4:42 am

Radishes don’t require so much attention, it’s quite easy to grow them. I like to add them to salads and I also know a few delicious recipes with radishes 🙂


Stephanie Suesan Smith August 30, 2010 at 8:28 am

Radishes are easy to grow. The problem is unless you really like them, you get more radishes than you can eat before they spoil.


EPDM Coating August 31, 2010 at 4:32 am

Can some one here post some pictures of growing radishes? If some one can do this will be highly appreciative.


Stephanie Suesan Smith August 31, 2010 at 6:57 am

If you do a google search on radishes you will get images of them in the search. I do not have any right now or I would post one for you.


Sean from Wholesale Bali August 31, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Hi Stephanie,

Like Paul, I love radishes but since moving to Bali, it’s been a long time since I’ve had eaten one or even seen one — I am inspired to go hunting.

Sean recently posted..Happy New Year 2011! you just missed ChristmasMy Profile


Stephanie Suesan Smith September 1, 2010 at 10:55 am

What sort of root vegetables do they have in Bali, Sean? I bet beets and turnips are out, too. What do they eat instead?


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