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By: Laura Miller
Radishes (Raphanus sativus) impart a spicy, pepperyflavor and crunchy texture to salads. They provide a decorative accent onrelish trays. When cooked, they maintain their flavor and texture, makingradishes an excellent addition to roasted root vegetable medleys. Plus, growingradish plants is one of the easiest vegetables that gardeners can cultivate.
Radishesare generally grown from seed and require a loose soil for proper rootformation. Composted manure, grass and leaves can be added to improve soilfertility. Removing rocks, sticks and inorganic debris from the planting siteis recommended.
Radishes grow best in cool weather and consistently moistsoils. Heavy rains can compact soil and form a hard crust on the surface which inhibitsroot formation. On the other hand, drought stress makes radishes tough andalters their mild flavor.
Spade or till the soil to depth of 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30cm). Sow seeds as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring or in latesummer for a fall crop.
Plant radish seeds ½ inch (1.25 cm) deep. Space seeds 1 inch(2.5 cm) apart by hand, with a seeder or use radish seedtape.
Water lightly to prevent soil crusting and compaction.Germination takes 4 to 6 days. For a steady harvest, use successionplanting by sowing radish seeds every 7 to 10 days.
The following radish planting tips should also help:
Radishes mature quickly with most varieties being readyfor harvest in 3 to 5 weeks. Radishes can be harvested at any usable size.Smaller radish roots tend to be zestier. As roots mature, they become tougher.If left in the ground too long, radishes will turn woody.
When radishes near maturity, sometimes the tops of theirswollen roots will begin to emerge from the soil. One way to check on theirprogress is to pull up a sacrificial radish plant to see if the roots havereached a usable size.
To harvest round types of radishes, firmly grasp the foliageand base of the plant and gently pull the radish root from the soil. For longerradish varieties, like daikon,use a shovel or fork to loosen the soil so the root doesn’t break when pulling.Harvested radishes store well in the refrigerator for several weeks.
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Radish is a root vegetable of the family Brassicaceae. People across the world loves to consume raw radish or as crunchy salads. There are various varieties of radish. There are green radish, Daikon, Black radish, Red radish, oil seed radish, etc.
However the sharp flavour in radish is because of chemical compounds such as glucosinolate, myrosinase, and isothiosyanate. The radish plant produces these chemical compounds. They grow very rapidly but the daikon variety takes time.
If you want to harvest soon then you can select the smaller sized varieties. But if you want to wait a little longer to have large white coloured root vegetable then you can select daikon variety. According to webmd.com they are rich in antioxidants such as pyrogallol, vanillic acid, catechin, etc.
Radish also have Vitamin-C and potassium. Consuming radish helps in reducing diabetes risk, cardiovascular improvement, etc. That’s why people around the globe loves to grow fresh and healthy radish vegetable in their wonderful garden.
But wait, haven’t you started growing them or you have failed again and again? Well after reading this article growing radishes will be on your finger tips.
Also, some fun facts:
You can eat the radish greens/leaves - they're normally a bit spiky so not everyone likes to eat them raw, but if you boil them a bit, they can be quite delicious.
You can easily grow radishes in (on?) a 12oz bottle using the Kratky method! The hard part is just getting the seedling started, but once it is, you can have the bottle's top hold up the radish bulb (or use some tin foil as a holder) and continually keep the bottle about half-full with nutrient solution.
For an odd way to use a radish plant - don't harvest it, and let it keep growing! It will go to produce seed, and it does so by creating seedpods - they basically have a texture/shape of a pea pod, and the flavor of a radish. The radish will take up a lot more room if you let it do this though, so you might need to preserve space for it ahead of time.
Radishes are really easy to grow outdoors, so if you have extra seed that's starting to get old, just lightly press and cover it in the ground outside. They might not all grow well, but hey, it's better to get a few radishes than to throw out seed!
Plant the seeds to the depth directed on the seed packet, between 1/4 inch for smaller cultivars up to 1 inch deep for larger tubers. Plant the seeds 1 inch apart in rows about 12 inches apart. Thin them to 2 inches between plants when they reach a small, edible size.
Lack of water will stress the radishes and cause the roots to become tough and lose flavor, so be sure to soak the soil thoroughly at least once weekly if the weather is dry. Water more frequently if your soil is sandy.
Harvest them before they get fibrous and tough. This is usually between three to five weeks after planting. Daikons, similar to carrots, will push their tops out of the soil so it will be easy to see how big they are. If you have these larger tubers, avoid breaking their root by digging a spade deeply next to each one and lifting it out.