Radishes are a great vegetable for those who have just begun to grow their own because they reach maturity quickly so you don't need to be too patient and can quickly see reward for your efforts in the shape of these delicious crunchy globes that are fantastic in a salad. What is more, you get a lot of bang for your buck with these useful plants as you can eat not only the root but also the young leaves and the immature seed pods if you let the plant go to seed. The seed pods taste like a mixture of radish and mange tout and if you leave just one or two radishes to go to seed you will have enough seed pods to have many to eat and also have some that you can leave to mature fully and can plant the following year.

Growing radishes:

Growing radishes is very easy and you can expect to see a yield from your crop in as little as four weeks after sowing. Radishes like full sun and you should always make sure to give them plenty of water, and to water evenly to prevent splitting and ensure that the radishes keep growing steadily and do not get woody. Sow radishes around an inch apart every couple of weeks to ensure that you have radishes for salads all summer. If you pick the correct varieties then you should be able to have radishes all year round.

Radishes should be picked early so the roots remain succulent and do not turn woody. In hot weather the radishes may be spicier and the longer you leave your radishes in the ground the hotter they can become, so if you like mild radishes, pick them while they are still quite small.

Since radishes are a cool weather crop, you may find it better to plant them in spring and in late summer- autumn and avoid the peak summer when they can have more problems.

When you harvest the roots be sure not to throw away the leaves which can also be used in a number of recipes. If you wish you can leave one or two radishes in the ground and allow them to go to seed. They will throw up long stems with pretty flowers, then seed pods will form. These can also be eaten, or left to provide seeds for the following year's crops.

Radishes grown with lettuce are said by some to taste better.

Why grow radishes in the garden?

Radishes are not only triply delicious, easy and quick growing, they can also be a useful companion crop. They can mark the rows of slow to germinate and slow to grow crops without interfering with those plants because they will be harvested before those plants become mature.

Because flea beetles attack radishes in preference to other crops, radishes can also be planted as a trap crop and can be beneficial when planted with peas, lettuce, beans, cucumber and squash.

Quick Facts

Latin Name
Raphanus sativus