Radish Planting Tips: How To Plant Radishes In The Garden
The first thing you need to know about planting radishes is that they don’t like being planted too close together. You have to plant them at least three feet apart, but even six or seven feet away from each other is fine.
If you put them too far apart, they won’t get enough light and will die.
You want your plants to be healthy and strong so you shouldn’t plant them too close together either. They’ll probably end up with root rot if they’re planted too closely together.
Also, don’t plant them too deep into the soil because it’s not good for their roots and could cause them to rot as well.
It takes about four months before you start seeing new growth on your radishes, which means they’ve been getting plenty of sunlight and nutrients from the sun. That’s when you can begin to transplant them into the garden.
If you live in a hot climate, then you might want to wait until springtime before starting your radish planting project. During the winter months, there isn’t as much sunlight and temperatures drop quite a bit.
So if you’re planning on planting your radishes during those cold winter months, then it would be best to wait until summertime before beginning your gardening project.
If you live in a place that doesn’t experience a lot of snowfall during the year, then it would be best to start your radish planting project in the fall so they can get a head start on the growing season. Radishes like soil that has good drainage because they don’t like to have their feet stay too wet for too long of a period of time.
You may want to choose different varieties of radishes other than the typical red or white ones. There are purple and pink ones available at most nurseries or garden centers.
These kinds of radishes don’t taste any different than the red or white ones, but they do provide a nice contrast to the other plants in your garden.
Most people only eat the crunchy white part of the radish and then throw away the rest of it. You can save yourself some time and trouble by planting seeds directly into your garden soil.
You can also grow some of your own radishes to eat. They’re very easy to grow and you can get a few crops per season out of them if you take good care of them.
Make sure the soil you’re planting your radishes in isn’t too wet or dry. Otherwise, your radishes will be more likely to die before they even have a chance to grow.
Keep them watered well for the first week or so and they should do just fine.
The Best Time To Plant Radishes
You can start planting your radishes once the threat of frost has passed in your area and the soil temperature is at least 50 degrees. You don’t want to plant them too early because they won’t grow very well due to the cold soil.
If you live in a place that experiences lots of snowfall, then you may want to plant your radishes in late winter so they can get a head start on the growing season.
You can start planting your seeds indoors about five to eight weeks before you plan to transplant them into your vegetable garden. You should only do this if you live in an area where the soil temperature is about 70 degrees.
Plant the radish seeds about 1/4 inch deep and keep the soil moist but not wet. The soil needs to be kept at a temperature of at least 60 degrees in order for the seeds to germinate properly.
How To Plant
You can plant your radishes in rows or you can plant them in clusters. If you choose to plant them in clusters, then you should space each cluster 3 to 4 inches apart.
If you decide to plant them in rows, you’ll want to space each row about 12 to 15 inches apart. You should plant the radish seeds at a depth of about 1/4 inch deep.
Make sure you keep the soil moist but not wet. You can also mulch the area with a thin layer of grass clippings or straw.
This will help to retain the moisture in the soil and keep the weeds from growing as well.
If you live in an area that experiences cold temperatures, then you should mulch your radishes to help protect them from freezing.
Caring For Radishes
You don’t need to do much care for these vegetables after you initially plant them. Just be sure to thin out the seedlings so they aren’t growing too close together and keep the soil moist.
If you’re planting them in the middle of the growing season, then you should only need to water them every three or four days. A good layer of mulch will help to keep the weeds down and retain moisture in the soil.
You should keep your radish plants weeded and free of pests. As long as you take a little time to care for them, then they shouldn’t give you too many problems.
You can start harvesting the outer leaves of the plant when they are still young and tender. Take care not to take off too many at one time or else the plant will start to weaken and die.
Once the plants start to mature and grow bigger, then you can start harvesting the roots. The radishes are typically ready to be harvested when they are about 2 inches in diameter. You should be able to pull them out of the ground with your hands fairly easily.
If you’re growing them for seed, then you will need to allow some of them to mature fully. Crack open the radish to see if the seeds are white inside.
If they are, then you can take the seeds out and plant them. If they are not ready, then you’ll need to wait awhile longer.
If you don’t plan to use the radishes right away, then make sure you keep them out of direct sunlight and water them every couple of days. Place them in a container with a damp cloth over the top.
They should stay fresh for a couple of weeks.
Pests: There isn’t too much that will attack your radishes, but you can still sometimes get pests like cutworms or even slugs. Use an organic slug and snail bait to get rid of these pests.
Diseases: The biggest problem you might encounter is the root maggots. These maggots are tiny, white and fly around near the ground.
You’ll need to throw out any radishes or plants that have been infested with these maggots.
Harvesting Problems: Sometimes you’ll notice that the leaves of your radish plants start to turn yellow and wilt without you doing anything. This means you probably have root knot nematodes in your soil.
There’s not a whole lot you can do about this except try planting something else in that particular area for awhile.
How To Grow Radishes
Information about how to plant radishes. What you need to know about planting radishes in flower beds.
Growing radishes hydroponically and in containers. How to grow radishes from store bought seeds.
How To Plant Radishes In The Ground
You will need to prepare the soil by tilling it well. This helps aerate the soil and allows the roots of the plant to easily grow.
Break up any clumps of soil and make sure that it’s loose and free flowing.
If you have a large patch, then you should break it up into rows about 4 feet apart. This will make it easier to plow if you need to use a plow as a last resort.
Plow the soil before planting. You can either use a horse drawn plow or go the easy way and just use a tractor.
You can also use a shovel to manually dig up a small area and then replant it. This will take awhile, but might be worth it if you’re only growing radishes for yourself.
Once you have the row set and ready to go, then all you need to do is plant the seeds in the row about 1 inch deep. You should have enough seeds left over to plant a 5 foot row.
You can either plant the seeds all together or space them out. If you space them out, then you will end up with longer radishes that are easier to grab by the top when you want to pull one out.
Keep the row moist and keep weeds from growing in it. You don’t need to fertilize the plants at all.
They should grow pretty quickly in most conditions. When they start growing, you can pull out any that are growing in the wrong spot or are growing deformed. Keep doing this until you reach your desired length.
How To Plant Radishes In A Container
You will need to pick a container that is at least 10 inches deep and 12 inches wide. You can use a smaller one if you want, but you will have to water it more frequently.
You can also use a larger container and just sow the seeds in sections, allowing for them to grow longer roots in between each section. This might be hard in a round container though.
If you are growing the plants hydroponically, then you can just fill the container with seed starting mix and plant the seeds in that. You will also need to set up a hydroponic system.
The hydroponic system should be able to keep the soil moist so that you don’t have to worry about watering the plants.
If you are growing in soil, then fill the container with potting soil and water it until it is evenly damp. You don’t want it to be so wet that it is muddy, but there should be no dry pockets of soil.
Plant the seeds in the container about 1/4-1/2 inch deep. You should have enough seeds left over to fill a 10 inch container.
Keep the container watered and keep weeds from growing in the vicinity of the container. You can use mulch around the container to prevent weeds from growing or you can just keep weeding.
Early on you may notice that some of the seeds have produced a thin tendril with a tiny green bud growing out from the tip. You can either remove these or just leave them since they are not actually weeds, just the seedlings trying to defend themselves.
As the seedlings grow, use your finger or a blunt object to separate the ones that are growing intertwined.
The seedlings will grow quickly, so thin them out when they start to get larger. You can leave 2 inches between each plant, or you can separate them further according to how large you want the radishes to be.
If you are growing these in a hydroponic system, then you can just harvest the whole plant when it is time for the leaves to curl and turn brown. Otherwise, harvest the root when it feels firm.
Since the roots can be pretty long, you can cut them into smaller sections if you want. Be sure to clean off any dirt that might be clinging to the roots before you eat them.
Hints & Tips
You can start harvesting the leaves when they turn a rich green color. The greens make a nice addition to salads and other cooked foods.
They also freeze well for later use.
Don’t throw out the roots when you harvest them. You can use them in soups and stews, or grind them up into a powder and add it to other dishes for a bit of a zesty flavor.
Soak the seeds overnight before planting. This helps in the sprouting process.
The traditional way of growing radishes is to sow the seeds directly into the ground after all danger of frost has passed, sometimes as late as May.
Prepare the soil by tilling it thoroughly. This helps to remove rocks and other debris that could otherwise break the seeds outer membrane.
Add a mixture of NPK fertilizer that is high in nitrogen since radishes grow quickly. If you don’t have any fertilizer available, manure is a good substitute.
Sow the seeds a half inch deep in straight lines spaced 12 inches apart. Water the seeds well and cover them with a thin layer of straw to keep the moisture in.
The seeds should sprout in a couple of weeks.
When the plants are 1 foot tall, thin them out so that they are 8 inches apart. This will give them room to mature and reduce the amount of weaklings that die out.
Be sure to give the plants plenty of water as they start growing above ground.
Manure is good for radishes, but don’t overdo it or the roots will taste bad. Add some organic compost to the area to give your radishes the extra boost that they need to become big and red.
Harvest your radishes when they are rock hard. Pull them out of the ground with some enthusiasm, if you pinch them and they leave an impression then they’re not quite ready.
If you wiggle them around and they come out easy then they’ve probably been on the ground long enough!
The most common problem that you will encounter is a disease called Black Leg, which makes the roots taste bad and turn black. If this occurs, throw the entire plant away and start again with new seeds.
You can prevent this by making sure that your plants are well spaced and that there is good airflow around them. Keep the area free of debris such as dead leaves.
Another common problem is for the plants to turn yellow and wilt for no reason. If this occurs, don’t eat the roots since they will probably taste bad.
Try a different spot next time.
If you do everything right, your radishes will grow quite quickly and you will be rewarded with a delicious, crisp snack. Just make sure that you pull them out before they grow too large or they won’t be as crunchy.
Sources & references used in this article:
DIAZINON ABSORPTION AND BIOACCUMULATION IN THE GARDEN RADISH (RAPHANUS RAPHANISTRUM SSP. SATIVUS) by H Shimazu – International Journal, 2019 – geomatejournal.com
Effect of boron on growth and development of the radish by J Skok – Botanical Gazette, 1941 – journals.uchicago.edu
Growth responses of radish plants to soil cadmium and lead contamination by MS Zaman, F Zereen – Bulletin of environmental contamination and …, 1998 – Springer
The radish party by J Piotrowski, T Mildenstein, K Dungan, C Brewer – Science and Children, 2007 – bioed.org
Radishes Revisited by S Radish – search.informit.com.au
Radishes: A new cover crop for organic farming systems by J Gruver, RR Weil, C White, Y Lawley – Organic Agriculture, 2016 – researchgate.net
The Effects of Poultry Litter Biochar and Water Source on Radish Growth and Nutrition by JM Allen – 2014 – scholarworks.uark.edu