A fast-growing vegetable with minimal needs, radishes are a must-have for the home garden. Many varieties are ready within 30 days of planting! Imagine that, fresh radishes for salads and pickle-making just a month after you plant them. There are many types of radishes with a broad spectrum of spiciness. Not only that, but they also vary in color. Did you know not all radishes are red?
Radishes prefer cooler weather for growing. They get woody and bitter in the heat. The best time to plant radishes is first thing in the spring. Then, do another planting in the fall. Because they are so quick to mature, you can do several plantings each time. Check out all these fun varieties! Plant your garden with several each year to test new types and spice up (literally!) your salads and sandwiches.
Purple & Pink Radishes
Purple Plum – round, crunchy, and mild. 25 days.
French Breakfast – long, blunt-tipped. 23 days, spicy.
Pink Celebration – small, globe-shaped. 30 days, mild.
China Rose – long-rooted, rose-colored. 40 days, spicy.
Easter Egg – a mix of round, multi-colored radishes (purple, pink, red, and white). 25 days, spicy.
White Icicle – long-rooted, crunchy, and mild. 30 days
Hailstone – small, round, ivory white. 25 days, mild flavor.
Watermelon – pure white outside, bright purple-pink inside. 60 days, mild flavor.
Daikon – long-rooted radish from Japan, 60 days
Comet – classic, round, spicy. 45 days.
Crimson Giant – large, round, and mild flavor. 30 days.
Sparkler White Tip – globe-shaped, white tip, mild flavor. 28 days.
Black Spanish – black skin, pure white inside, very spicy. 55-65 days.
How To Grow Radishes
Plant radishes directly in the garden 4-6 weeks before the last frost. Radishes don't do well started indoors since transplanting disturbs their roots. Choose a bright, sunny location in the garden. Do not plant radishes in the shade, or they will concentrate their growing energy on producing more foliage instead of roots.
- Sow radish seeds 1/2” and 2” apart. Space the rows 12” apart.
- When the plants are a week old, thin them, so they are 3" apart.
- Water consistently and evenly, but don't let the soil get waterlogged.
- Weed carefully and consistently. Weeds are a big problem with radishes since they will crowd out the roots.
- Start a new planting of radishes every ten days while the weather is cool.
- Harvest radishes while young and just maturing. If they are left in the ground too long, their condition and flavor deteriorate. Plus, all the little garden creatures will snack on them.
Don't throw away the tops; radish leaves are entirely edible and delicious in a salad or as a sandwich filling. Some radishes have fuzzy leaves, making them not pleasant eating, so cook those or compost them.
Fall Planting of Radishes
Follow the same instructions as above for sowing and watering radish seeds. Plant the seeds out in fall, 4-6 weeks before the first frost. By the time winter rolls around, the radishes will be ready for harvest.
That's how easy it is to grow radishes and have plenty to enjoy throughout the season. They don't take up much room in the garden, and they produce prolifically.