The penultimate post in my series of five posts here to show you five of the easiest fruits and veggies to grow.
If you’ve never grown anything before, or want something quick to start on now summer is nearly here, then hopefully these posts will give you some inspiration.
So far I’ve posted on:
Today see’s the turn of a great little root vegetable – the Radish
If you ever eat salad, chances are it will usually contain slices of little red and white radish. They add an extra crunch to those salad leaves, make it look colourful and more importantly can sometimes (though doesn’t always have to), add a taste of heat, through the peppery flavour.
There are many varieties of radishes that are grown around the world, but for this post – I am primarily describing the European variety.
Why Grow Radishes?
Radishes are often overlooked when growing in the garden but they really shouldn’t be. Eating just eight radishes is the the equivalent of having half an orange. That’s about 15% of your required vitamin C. Just from one source! Radishes also contain various other good minerals and vitamins like calcium and vitamin B.
They can be grown pretty much all year round, especially if you can keep them in a warm area during winter. Radishes also germinate very fast meaning they can be grown in between other crops (inter cropping), like leeks or cabbages, or just have a supply growing on your windowsill.
They grow in most soil types and will even tolerate shady areas.
In fact you can’t get a more accommodating vegetable.
How to Grow Radishes
Radishes can only really be grown from seed.
Packets of seed can be bought in the price range of anything between 29p and £2.99 depending on the variety you choose. Some are long and less red in colour, while others are more of a globe shape and tend to be a darker shade of red. Doesn’t matter what variety you choose as they all grow the same way.
- If growing in the ground then just get the soil ready for planting by giving it a hoe over, making sure no weeds are going to come up. Make a drill line if on an allotment or if, like me, you’re using raised beds, then just make 1-2cm holes (with a dibber, or occasionally just an old pen) where you want to grow the radishes. They can be sown close together, about 2.5cm and just add one seed per hole.
- A trough pot (you know the ones you get from certain discount shops) that are about 45cm long will allow you to plant three rows of seeds. Or about 40 radishes.
- Water in well and leave
- If growing inside then stand the pots on any windowsill. I haven’t grown anything on a north facing windowsill so I doubt germination would be successful however once germinated you could move them to a north facing windowsill.
- A few days later shoots will begin to appear.
- If you want a continuous crop through the summer then sow seeds every two weeks, either in a new pot, or in a new drill area in the soil.
- Water the soil when it gets dry, don’t over water.
The crop can be harvested after three weeks.
Even though you can harvest quickly, just pull a radish out to check before you pull a great bunch out and realise they aren’t even big enough to make a mouthful. If it’s smaller than a 1p then carefully put it back in the soil and leave the radishes for another week. Check again with just one radish until you are happy with the size.
Once you’ve grown some you’ll get used to knowing pretty quickly how long the radishes take to get to the desired size.
Pest and diseases
Only a problem when growing outside – slugs and snail.
Yes those blighters again. Just check your crops regularly for any sign the slimy critters have been about. Add slug pellets, organic based, if necessary.
If growing outside, you will probably notice small holes being to appear in the radish leaves. Flea beetles rather like the leaves however this is only really a cosmetic issue. They will not harm the radish roots so you can leave them to it. Or if you don’t want to tolerate them being attacked then use some fleece, covered loosely over your crop.