Friday, 18 March 2016

Growing Radishes From GIY Ireland

Try eating a raw radish with a bit of butter and some seasoning and you have all the reasons you need to grow them. Crunchy, peppery and delicious. They are tremendously easy to grow and are ready to eat just 4 weeks after sowing – that’s fast food! This quick return means they are ideal if you are just starting out, and they are an excellent option for container growing. Don’t dismiss them as a one-trick veg though – there are dozens of varieties including turnip-sized winter radishes which can be stored over the winter.

They can be sown pretty much anywhere – often thrown in among other veg and even in partial shade. A very dry soil however, won’t suit them. Always sow directly in the soil – they don’t fare well when transplanted. Sow a small number of seeds regularly (every two to three weeks) from April on for a consistent crunchy addition to salads. Sow thinly 1cm deep and when the seedlings have emerged, thin to 3cm apart (discard the thinnings).

Water regularly in dry weather or if growing them under cover – keeping the soil moist prevents splitting.

They will be ready to eat withing a month which is one of the fastest of all vegetables. Don’t let them get too big as they become overly peppery and tend towards tasting “woody” when too large. So, the key is to sow little but often. Winter radishes are hardier and can be left in the soil or lifted for storage.

Recommended Varieties
Cherry Bell
French Breakfast

Slugs can nibble at radishes but they are rarely so badly eaten as to be inedible.

GIY Tips

1. Fast growing radishes are often sown between rows of slower-growing vegetables as they can be harvested without upsetting the other veg. They can also be used to mark out a row of slower germinating veg like parsnips. Radishes are a brassica however, so ideally you should keep them in the brassica group in your rotation plan.
2. Fresh radish tops can be used in soups.

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