Correctly plant, care for and harvest radishes.
What varieties of radishes are there?
Red on the outside and white on the inside – this is what most people imagine when they think of radishes. In fact, this is only one of numerous varieties of radishes. The main selection criteria are the color, shape, time of cultivation and taste of each variety. For example, yellow, white, purple and multicolored varieties are considered to be exceptional eye-catchers on the plate.
When choosing radishes, it should be noted that not all species thrive equally well at any time of year. For spring, the varieties Saxa, Neckarperle and Cyros prove to be particularly suitable. In summer, on the other hand, Parat, Sora and Raxe are popular. Among the most popular varieties are also:
- Giant butter
- China Roser
Location and soil
In principle, it is possible to grow radishes both outdoors and in pots on the terrace or balcony. In any case, the vegetable feels most comfortable in a sunny to partial shade location. On hot summer days, partial shade is preferable to unprotected sun.
Radishes do not have any special requirements, so they can cope with almost any garden soil. A humus-rich loose soil is considered ideal. It is important that the soil is well-drained. In order for the roots to find a reliable foothold, it is not advisable to use soil that is too light.
Since radishes belong to the weak eaters, the substrate should not be too rich in nutrients. Otherwise, there is an increased susceptibility to diseases and pests. In addition, an oversupply of nutrients can promote increased leaf growth, which, however, reduces tuber growth. Peat-free soil is best suited for growing in pots.
If, on the other hand, the soil is heavy and heavily compacted, it is advisable to loosen it before sowing. This has the advantage that the roots can penetrate unhindered into the depths.
Note: Choose a location where no radishes or other cruciferous plants have been planted in the past three to four years. This measure will help keep the plants healthy.
Sowing radishes – this is what to pay attention to.
Planting radishes in the open ground
When sowing outdoors, proceed as follows:
- Soil preparation
- Prepare soil by loosening if necessary.
- Make seed furrows
- Make shallow seed furrows using the garden rake or a furrow opener.
- Sow seeds in a row about 1 cm deep. The minimum distance in a row should be about 3 to 4 cm. Keep a distance of 10 to 15 cm between individual rows.
- Cover seeds
- Carefully cover the seed grooves from the side so that the seed is lightly covered with soil. This is important to prevent the seed from being dispersed by rain or wind.
- At temperatures of around 15 degrees Celsius, an adequate water supply is important. The germination period is usually only a few days.
- Caution: If the seed is sown too deep, elongated woody tubers will form in the course of growth, which will considerably impair the later taste.
Depending on the size of the bed, placing the seeds individually can be quite tedious. Alternatively, it is possible to scatter the seeds directly from the bag into the seed grooves. However, it can happen that the seeds are sown too densely. In this case, usually no typical round root tubers develop, but the radishes turn out small and elongated.
If, despite all caution, it happens that the planting distance is too small, it is necessary to separate the radishes, otherwise they tend to shoot prematurely. This is manifested in the fact that the vegetable forms flowers and grows tightly in height. However, this deprives the tuber of abundant water, making it inedible. As soon as the plant can be seen, it should be carefully pulled out of the ground with a pricking or wooden stick. Then gently separate the roots before returning the plant to the bed at a greater distance.
Planting radishes in a pot
To make it possible to maintain the recommended planting distances in the pot, it should be chosen in a sufficient size depending on the number of rows desired. It is important that the selected container has at least one drainage hole, so that excess water can drain away easily. For sowing, it is sufficient to fill the pot up to a height of about 15 cm.
Proper care for radishes
Water supply takes a central part in the care of radishes. To ensure optimal growth, you should always keep the substrate moist. This is because too much fluctuation will cause the tubers to feel furry or even burst open. When watering, use a watering attachment which finely distributes the water. Without a watering attachment, the seedlings may be damaged.
Provided that the previous crop was fertilized abundantly, radishes do not need any further fertilizer. Otherwise, you can enrich the upper layers of soil with some compost.
Caution: Do not use fresh compost as fertilizer under any circumstances! This is because radishes are sensitive to the salts they contain.
Harvest and storage
Radishes are ideal as an intercrop because they are ready to harvest about four weeks after sowing. The right time to harvest is crucial so that the radishes do not develop a woody taste. If blossoms have already formed, the vegetable is already too old, as wood cells will then have already formed inside the tuber.
The harvest itself turns out to be quite simple. To do this, grasp the radish just above the tuber by the leaf stalks and pull the vegetable out of the ground.
Radishes are tastiest immediately after harvesting. However, it is not always possible to eat them directly. In this case, the vegetable can be easily stored in the refrigerator for several days. To do this, wrap the radishes in a damp cloth to create optimal conditions for their shelf life. Be sure to remove the cabbage before storage to prevent mold growth.
Diseases and pests
In ideal conditions, radishes rarely suffer from diseases. The main causes of disease or a pest infestation is usually due to improper care or an unfavorable location. The following disease patterns occur most frequently in radishes:
- Earth fleas: usually occur when the soil is too dry. Infestation is indicated by noticeable holes in the leaves. Garlic planted nearby can provide relief.
- Aphids: The herb turns yellow as the aphids eat the roots and leaves. Natural predators such as hoverflies, lacewings, pirate bugs or ladybugs can help.
- Radish aphid: Roots are affected by the infestation and turn black. The affected radishes should be removed from the bed immediately.
- Downy mildew: This is a fungal disease that is noticeable with black spots on the tubers. The leaves show yellowish to brown spots.