Radishes: Planting, Growing, and Harvesting

Radishes are tough root vegetables that are produced for their crisp, colourful, and spicy roots. They can be planted numerous times in a season and harvested in as little as three weeks! Find out how to cultivate radishes and how to know when they’re at their prime.

Concerning Radishes

  • Radishes are an annual root vegetable in the Brassicaceae or cabbage family, which also contains broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, collards, and, as the name implies, horseradish. The entire plant, from root to leaf, is edible and can be eaten raw or cooked.
  • Seeds can be sown in both the spring and fall, but sowing should be halted when warm weather approach since radishes bolt, rendering them unusable. Otherwise, radishes are one of the simplest vegetables to cultivate.
  • Because radishes mature so quickly, they can be planted anywhere there is an empty space or in between rows of other crops like carrots or beets. Radishes are also good companion plants for deterring pests from other veggies.


Choose a sunny location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Radishes will spend all of their energy into creating larger leaves if planted in too much shadow, or even if adjoining vegetable plants shade them. Till the soil and remove any pebbles (roots do not develop well in compacted soil). If the soil is clay, add organic matter to soften it up and enhance drainage. Till to a depth of 8 inches if planting longer types.

When Should You Plant Radishes?

  • Sow seeds 4 to 6 weeks before the final spring frost for a spring planting.
  • Sow seeds 4 to 6 weeks before the first fall frost for a fall yield.

Radishes Planting Instructions

  • Before seeding, add organic matter, but avoid using fresh manure or nitrogen-rich fertilisers; too rich soil can stimulate lush foliage at the expense of radish roots.
  • Radish seeds have a rather long storage life. Plant radish seeds that are up to 5 years old without fear. Although not all will germinate, there will be many that will.
  • Sow seeds approximately 1/2-inch deep and cover loosely with soil outside. Rows should be 12 inches apart and 1 inch apart. Water seeds thoroughly, to a depth of 6 inches.
  • For a continual crop of radishes in late spring and early summer, sow another round of seeds every 10 days or so while the weather is still chilly.

Radishes are being thinned.

  • The most critical step in growing radishes is “thinning.” When the seedlings are 2 inches tall, or about a week old, thin them to three-inch spacings. Crowded radishes do not grow well, resulting in small, shrivelled, inedible roots.
  • Simply cut the greens at the soil line to thin. The thinnings are edible, so toss them into a salad! Replant if thinnings have been carefully taken with roots, leaves, and stem intact. The transplants may be strained, but they should recover.

Radishes Watering

  • The importance of consistent, even wetness cannot be overstated. Allowing it to dry out will result in pithy, smelly roots, but allowing it to become soggy will result in rotted roots. A drip irrigation system is an excellent way to accomplish this.
  • Mulch the radishes with compost supplemented with wood ashes to help preserve moisture and keep root maggots at bay in dry conditions.
  • Weed frequently; weeds will quickly crowd out the radishes.


The most common mistake gardeners make with spring radishes is leaving them in the ground past maturity, which causes them to become harsh and starchy. Winter radishes, on the other hand, can be left in the ground for several weeks after maturity if the temperature is chilly. Finish the crop before the first frost.

  • To harvest, check your seed packet! Radishes grow at varied rates depending on the variety. Some types are harvested as soon as three weeks after planting, when the roots are around one inch in diameter. Take one out and put it to the test.
  • Another indicator that your radish root is flourishing well is green growth above the soil that is 6 to 8 inches tall.
  • Finally, the “shoulder” or top part of the radish should be visible or felt pressing up against the top soil.

If several radishes bolt before you can harvest them, leave a few to form seedpods. In a salad, the seedpods, which resemble tiny bean or pea pods, are particularly appetising.

Radishes: How to Store Them

  • Wash and thoroughly dry the radishes after removing the tops and the thin root tail. Refrigerate in produce or zip-top bags in the crisper drawer.
  • Radish greens can be kept separate for up to three days. Place them in a separate produce bag and wrap them with a dry paper towel.

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