Did you know for more than 2000 years people have grown and enjoyed eating radishes? A radish is a vegetable that is generally eaten raw, cooked or pickled. All parts of the plant can be eaten but the root is the most commonly eaten part of the plant. They can be grown in garden plots or in containers and they need very little space. We learned how to plant this healthy choice for your garden at Explore the Outdoors this year. Watch this Science Matters video for the steps to do this at home and then enjoy your harvest.
Radishes are in the same plant family as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Some radish roots are round while others grow in an oblong shape, they can have a mild taste or be fiery hot depending on the type. Radishes grow easily from seed and spring radishes are typically ready to eat in just 27 days after sowing.
Radish plants require full sun to grow to maturity. Full sun equals a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunshine per day. Summer radishes thrive in the heat of the summer while winter radishes need the cool spring or fall temperatures to grow well. Follow the directions on the seed packet to learn when is the right time to sow the seed.
As the seedlings sprout their first set of true leaves, thin them to 2" apart and water well. Use scissors to cut out the seedlings you need to remove so you do not disturb the soil of the remaining plants. Check the radishes regularly and harvest when the roots are less than 1" in diameter. A delayed harvesting will cause the radishes to become tough, bitter and cause the radish to split. Radishes are great in a salad or eaten straight from the ground! Some stir fry the greens, flowers and stems or use them in salads, too. Radishes are rich in Vitamin C, Folic and anthocyanins, they are high in fiber and a low on the glycemic index.
All of this means they are an easy to grow healthy choice for your garden and table. Happy Gardening!
For more great gardening tips be sure to watch Virginia Home Grown between March and October, usually on the last Tuesday of each month at 8:00 p.m. on WCVE PBS / WHTJ PBS (with an encore on the following Saturday at 5:00 p.m. on WCVW PBS).
Article by: Peggy M. Singlemann, Director of Horticulture, Maymont Foundation and Host, WCVE PBS’ Virginia Home Grown.