Radishes are one of the fastest and easiest vegetables to grow, and they grow well in any climate. Many varieties can be harvested as soon as three weeks after the seeds are planted. The trick to harvesting tasty radishes is not to leave them in the ground too long. Radishes left in the ground too long become woody and bitter. Visit our seed shop for some interesting varieties to help you break out of that 'round red radish' habit.
Radishes are grown throughout the year, but most varieties prefer cool weather. Sow radishes successively every two to three weeks for a continuous crop. You can plant them in shady spots where other vegetables are reluctant to grow.
You can sow radishes with slower growing vegetables since they will mature quickly and can be harvested long before other vegetables will need the space. This technique, called intercropping, is especially useful in small gardens where space is at a premium. You can also sow radishes with your container grown vegetables.
Plant seeds directly where they are to grow about 1/4 inch deep and 2 inches apart. Seedlings will appear in 1-2 weeks. Keep the soil moist during the growing period. It's a good idea to feed seedlings weekly with a complete liquid fertilizer.
Cabbage moth and white butterfly caterpillars are the primary pests that affect radishes. Treatment with Bt will usually remedy the problem. Aphids will sometimes attack, but they are easily discouraged with Soap-Shield.
Radishes are a good companion for vine crops such as cucumbers, squash, melons and pumpkins because they discourage the cucumber beetle. Other good companion crops include beans, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, and peas.
The small globe varieties are eaten fresh in salads and used as garnishes, while the long root forms are used for cooking. For more information about radishes see Radical Radishes.