Putting the Dish in Radish

Radishes are touted as easy to grow, something you could put anywhere with anything and have them in abundance. A couple of radish varieties came in an assortment of vegetable seeds I’d bought. Nothing I’d buy at the grocery store, so why not give them a go?

I direct sowed Champion in the tomato raised bed in May. No one paid them much mind until their red shoulders rose above the dirt – time to harvest.

Dick’s not a fan of their spicy flavor, so I roasted some and pickled the rest. Radishes weren’t so bad after all.

When a quick fall crop was needed to fill the space between the potatoes and the brassicas, I immediately decided to plant radishes. They’d be perfect. To kick it up a notch, we’d try another variety, the Icicle short top.

It didn’t take long for the tiny sprouts to appear, and not long after, their green tops flourished. As the weeks went by, there wasn’t much evidence of a sizable edible root. What went wrong?

I can only guess, but to make it an educated guess, I did some research. Gardeners love to share their knowledge through blogs and YouTube channels. Who’s your go-to gardner?

Here are the three essential tips I discovered:

  1. Radishes need loose soil to grow in. (Check.)
  2. Don’t crowd the young seedlings. If you use the square foot gardening method, that’s 16 radishes in one square foot. (Check.)
  3. Don’t add too much nitrogen. It starves the root and feeds the greens. (Oops! Here’s where I went wrong.)

Since making the vlog “Radish Results“, something else I learned. Drumroll, please. There are two types of radishes: spring and winter. Duh! I thought those were the seasons to plant them. My eyes are open to a whole new radish world. Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s never heard of Watermelon Radish, a winter variety.  

Because I planted Champions in August, a spring variety, it may have had something to do with the root’s size. Yes, no, maybe? I do believe it had more to do with too much nitrogen.

Well, anyways, the silver lining is I learned a lot about this incredible edible root. Dick and I enjoyed a meal from the bountiful greens. Most importantly, I have to find Cherry Bomb, Crimson Giant, China Rose, and Watermelon radish seeds, varieties I want to try next year.

Let me know what’s your favorite radish.

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