Intro: Radish plants are so easy to grow that beginner (and experienced) gardeners will love them. These vegetables grow and mature quickly and are suitable for impatient gardeners, and they do wonderfully in plant containers deep enough for their tasty tubers to develop. There are more than 250 varieties of radishes, which have different flavors, colors, sizes and planting times. A common radish variety you’ll find at the grocery store is ‘Cherry Belle.’
Scientific Name: Raphanus sativus
Plant Type: Edible root vegetable
Light: Full sun
Water: Keep the radish plant's potting soil moist but not soggy.
Zone: Radish plants do better in cooler weather, so plant them in the winter in warmer areas. These vegetable plants do best at 60 to 65 degrees. If kept in too-hot weather, the taste of the radish will be more bitter.
Fertilizer: Add a granular fertilizer to the potting soil when planting the seeds. Fertilize once more after the seeds have germinated. Don’t use a slow-release fertilizer because radishes grow so quickly.
Pests and Diseases: Flea beetles are an insect pest that may be a problem with your radish plants.
Propagation: Grow radish plants from seed. Plant seeds a half inch deep directly outside (they transplant poorly) in your container garden about six weeks before the last expected frost. Plant winter radish seeds three-fourths of an inch deep (planting times depend on the variety). Radish seeds germinate within three to seven days, and radish plants are ready to harvest in about a month. It is good to have successive plantings (every week or so) of this vegetable if you want to harvest your radishes throughout the season.
Misc. Info: You’ll want to harvest your radishes when they’re young, as their quality declines the older they get. Once the radish plant's roots are large enough to use, they can be harvested (after 20 days). Gently dig around the plant to check the size of the roots before harvesting them from your kitchen garden.
Radishes are very healthy – they are a good source of vitamin B6, riboflavin, calcium and much more.