Radishes make the perfect addition to salads. Crunchy, they add texture to dishes. We love adding them to raita, which gives it a mildly pungent flavour. Not all radish are red, making them a colourful and interesting addition to salads and other dishes.
Radish are incredibly easy to grow, making them perfect for beginners to gardening. Radish can be sown in spring and early autumn. Avoid sowing radish in the height of summer, as they will not grow well in high temperatures. Radish might not form a bulb if sown in winter due to difficulties with germination and cooler temperatures which might stunt their growth.
Egmont Seeds have an incredible range of radish seeds. You could try growing Amethyst, Black Spanish, Cabernet, Champion, French Breakfast, Pink Beauty, Round Mix and Sparkler. For Asian cuisine, try the Daikon radish called Omny.
Franchi Sementi also have a lovely range of radishes. The New Zealand supplier is Italian Seeds Pronto. Try Candela Di Fuoco, Gaundry and Dattero Rosso. You can also try mixed colours radish in the Golden Line range.
A convenient way of growing radish is to use seed tape instead of loose seeds. There is no need to worry about spacing seeds too closely, as they are already spaced the perfect distance apart. Seed tape is biodegradable, so it will disintegrate in the ground and the seeds on the tape will germinate. Egmont Seeds have a variety of radish seed tape called Cherry Belle which is worth trying.
How to sow
As a root crop, radish should be sown direct. Do not transplant, or you will end up with forked roots, a bit like with carrots.
You do not need to dig the area where you intend to sow radish very deeply, as radish are a shallow root crop. Digging the bed to a depth of 8-10 cm should be perfectly adequate.
As with all root crops, in order to form a large, strong root underground radish prefer soil which is well composted. I therefore advise not adding fresh compost or sheep pellets to areas where you intend to sow radish.
You may however wish to sprinkle a little Superphosphate fertiliser where you intend to sow radish and mix into the soil. This will encourage strong root growth.
Growing radish in buckets
I’ve never grown radish in buckets, but I’ve seen a post in a vege gardening group I belong to on Facebook where a lady in the US has grown spring radishes in buckets successfully. Reasons why you may wish to try sowing radish in buckets include getting a head start on the seasons at a time when the ground might still be quite cool (such as in spring) and space limitations in the garden. Sowing radishes in buckets are also perfect for people who don’t wish to dig up their lawn like us! Just remember not to use fresh potting mix or you may end up with weak or forked radish. As with sowing radish in the ground, try to use old potting mixture. It would be ideal to recycle potting mixture from, for example, summer crops such as capsicums, chillies and eggplants grown in pots.
Sown at the right time, radish should be ready in as little as 4-6 weeks.