Growing Radish from Seed
The word 'radish' is derived from the Saxon, rude, rudo, or reod
(ruddy), or from the Sanskrit rudhira, meaning blood, referring
to the bright red colour of the vegetable.
Originally from China, radishes reached Mediterranean areas even before Greek times.
They are a staple food in Japan and China, where they are often pickled in brine, preserving them for long periods of time.
RADISH QUICK GUIDE
Hardy annual or biennial
Site and Soil
Most soils dug well, especially the top 15cm (6in).
Plant to Harvest Time
Summer varieties 3 to 8 weeks
Winter varieties 3 to 5 months
How Many? Radishes
0.5 kg (1lb) per 1 metre (3foot) row
1 kg (2.2 lb) per 1 metre (3 foot) row
are an ideal vegetable for the amateur gardener, suited to most soil types, rapidly reaching maturity and extremely happy
growing amongst taller vegetables. Radish seed is also very
Radishes are also an excellent way to introduce children to gardening -
buy a pack of mixed radish seeds in
April, sow them early in the
month and radishes in a variety of shapes and sizes will be ready
Where To Grow Radishes
Radishes like sun, but at the same time like cool conditions. If they
are grown in full sun during the summer, they will run to seed or bolt
very quickly. For this
reason they are ideally suited to as a growing companion to other
vegetables such as peas or beans.
The variety to the left is 'Champion'. Very easy to
grow, it produces medium-sized ruby-red radishes which are both crunchy
and tangy. An excellent choice.
In spring and late autumn when
radishes need the sun most, the peas or beans will be short or have been
cut down, whereas in the hotter summer months, they will provide welcome
shade for your radishes. There is no need to restrict them to being
vegetable companions - they will grow equally well amongst
shrubs (such as roses) and annuals (such as sweet peas).
Soil conditions for radish are simple; a very well-dug soil to a depth of 15cm (6in) with
no stones or fresh compost in it. At the time of digging, add two handfuls of
per square metre (yard) and work it into the topsoil. The soil preparation should ideally be
complete a month before sowing, but it makes very little difference if it is done at sowing time.
When To Sow
Sow small amounts of radish seed but often to ensure a continuous supply rather than a
glut at one time - radishes do not keep well in the soil once they are
mature. For summer varieties, begin sowing in
mid-April and continue at
three week intervals to
September. Where cloche
protection is available, sowing can commence in
to buy a poly-tunnel or cloche online from our recommended suppliers.
For winter varieties, begin sowing at the end of
at three week
Radish In Containers
Radish are very well suited to growing in containers. They can be sown
between other crops which will protect them from the harsh summer sun.
They will prefer a loam based compost such as John Innes. Just make sure
they are kept well-watered in dry conditions and they will be fine.
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