Last Updated on August 16, 2023 by Real Men Sow
The radish (Raphanus sativus), a cool-season, edible annual, is a member of the Brassicaceae/Cruciferae family, which also includes turnips, cabbage, and broccoli. This article will show you how to grow radishes in Winter and Spring. It also includes tips on how to harvest them and how to use them.
Growing Spring Radishes vs. Gowing Radishes in Winter
Radishes are known for their crisp texture and sweet and peppery flavour. There are many varieties around the world. Some can withstand the summer heat. However, they can be divided into two categories: Spring and Winter radishes.
Varieties of Radishes in Winter To Try
They are long, thick, and white. Their mild flavour makes them great for salads, but they also make a wonderful addition to a stew. Also called “Japanese Mooli”.
Bright pink colour adds amazing colour to dishes. It is great in fish dishes and will add sweetness to the dish. It pairs well with apple and feta cheese.
Spanish Black Radish
This is a large, round variety with a strong flavour. These are delicious in salads and stir-fries, but they also taste great with a wedge of cheddar cheese and a dark, rich beer.
How to Grow Radishes in Winter
Radishes can be grown quickly and easily. All you need is a container or a small area of the sun in your garden. Radishes can be directly sown in well-draining, fertile soil that is free from rocks and other debris. This will allow the roots to grow unencumbered. The heirloom seeds that we use to grow the radishes are readily available online.
- Spring radishes – plant them 4-6 weeks before the last frost and every 1-2 weeks until it is warm.
- Winter radishes – Start 8-10 weeks before the first frost and then succession plant weekly for 3-4 weeks.
Two seeds per inch, one-half inch depth, 12 inches apart. Once your radish sprouts reach an inch in height, thin them to 2-3″ so that they can form bulbs. The baby radish greens will also be edible. Overcrowded radishes can lead to thin roots or even crop failure.
You might consider succession planting, where you plant seeds each week to ensure that you have a steady supply of fresh radishes.
Planting Multiple Varieties
Radishes can cross-pollinate easily, so it is recommended to plant varieties at a minimum of a mile apart. Although cross-pollinating won’t alter the appearance or taste of your current crop it can cause problems with the quality of the seeds that you have collected. In rural areas, and/or larger gardens and farms, the half-mile spacing can be easier to follow.
Even if you only grow one type, row homes gardens such as mine and community gardens may have another variety.
It is important to not stress about spacing radish. You can grow what you want, eat the seed pods and buy new seeds when needed. You can also try your hand at cross-pollinating seeds. I have done so with good results. However, you should not offer them to seed exchanges as they aren’t guaranteed to be pure.
How to Harvest Radishes
When you see about an inch of radish top peeking out of the soil, harvest. Radishes that are left in the ground for too long can become hard, pithy, or split. Split radishes can be eaten as long as they are free from other problems.
If you must store radishes for later use, make sure to remove any radish greens from the radishes before storing them in the crisper. This is to ensure that the greens don’t draw moisture from the roots.