Growing Radishes in Your Garden
In the video, Growing Radishes, Tricia introduces us to how easy and fast it is to grow radishes. She shows the different types of radishes, Spring varieties vs Winter varieties, and tips on planting and harvesting. But let's go a little deeper into radish history, cultivation, troubleshooting and cooking recipes.
The radish was first cultivated in China thousands of years ago. The use of radishes quickly spread to Egypt and Greece. In fact, the Greeks prized the radish so much that gold cast replicas were made and offered up to the Gods. Present day radishes are enjoyed all over the world by gardener's as a quick and easy vegetable to grow in fall or spring.
Winter Radishes vs. Spring Radishes
Winter radishes are larger and take longer to mature (about 6-8 weeks) than Spring radishes. These radishes are typically planted in mid-summer to fall, about 6-8 weeks before the ground freezes. Winter varieties include China Rose, Watermelon and Daikon radish (means "great root" in Japanese).
Spring radishes are smaller and mature quickly, about 3-4 weeks. Plant in the spring as soon as the ground can be worked or in the fall when temperatures start to cool down. To have a continuous supply of radishes, plant short rows every 7-10 days (succession planting).
The following is a list of popular Spring radishes:
Cultivation Tips and Troubleshooting
A great online resource for information about pests of the garden and home is the UC IPM Online site. Check it out!
Radishes As Cover Crops?
Yes, radishes are not just for eating, they have proven as a useful cover crop. Research has found that radishes are useful in "bio-drilling" or loosening of compacted soils, improving soil by increasing drainage and taking up nutrients for release upon decomposition, weed suppression, erosion control and nematocidal qualities.
Most folks eat radishes fresh in salads or just by themselves. There are endless ways to prepare radishes. Here are a few links to get you started:
Patrick, our garden consultant did some research on your problem and did not find much out. She advised you to take your effected radishes to your local Cooperative Extension and see if they can diagnose the problem. Sounds like some type of fungal issues in your soil.
Can you tell me what or why do radishes get this grayish or ash looking outer skin? I harvested mine and even after washing them, many had this discolored look to them. They were not black. Some had bumps on them or a crusted service but mixed in the purple coloring was some grayish ash color. The discoloration was smooth to the touch.