Tuesday, 2 October 2012

How to... Grow Your Own Radishes

Next on our list of seedlings are the radishes :).. Don't forget to visit our stand tomorrow and up to friday between 9am and 4pm for your seed bag, and to check out the rest of the stand - we are on stand 1 (down from the quadrangle exit to the car park, to the right) - we are looking forward to meet you! : )
If you want an easy, stress-free vegetable to grow in your pot, then the radish is the veggie for you :)!
Here we will explain how to take care of these spicy and beautiful vegetables which can be ready for harvest in no time (usually in just a month’s time!). Another bonus for the radish is that it can be grown in containers very well!
So what are you waiting for? ;)
Radish needs a fertile, loose and well drained soil. Since radish is a quick crop, it is necessary that we use a good potting medium (so make sure you add compost!) to begin with.
For the small, red, roundish radish (like the ones you have in the Seed Bags) you can use a tray that is around 10 – 15 cm deep. Sow the seeds about 1 cm deep and place in full sun to part shade. Keep soil moist. Radishes germinate at lightning speed - sometimes in just a couple of days.

week-old radish seedlings

21 day old radish plants

Once the plants start growing, thin them out to provide 5 cm spacing between each plant. Add well decomposed compost (you can use vermin-compost, which we will speak of in another blog ;) ) after a week.

One month-old radish plants with vegetables poking out :D 

These radishes can be harvested when they are a month old, when a good sized top is poking out of the soil. Grip them at the base of the stem and slowly pull them out of the soil. To keep radishes fresh, remove the tops right after you pick them, then refrigerate.
If you want bigger ones, leave them for another 10 days but not more than that. If you delay harvesting, the radish will get starchy (with a hollow core) and will not be good. Radish leaves are also edible so you can also take few leaves for your consumption as they grow, but leave some for the plant as well. However be careful since the leaves of the red and roundish radishes will usually have tiny spines
Pests:
Flea beetles are quite common with radish. Since it flies and hops around, spraying insect repellents such as neem will not help. You can cover the crop with a mosquito net or insect proof net.
Flowers and Seeds:
When radish is left to grow, it will grow a flower stalk and start flowering to produce seeds.

Beautiful Radish Flowers

The seed pod is also edible! Let the seed pod dry and there you have seeds for the next season.

What seed-pods look like :) 

Written By Simone Cutajar
Adapted from geekgardener.in

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