Growing Radishes in Your Home Vegetable Garden
There are many varieties of radish, but only a few offer any special advantages over the others in terms of flavour, while some are unsatisfactory in confined areas owing to the length of their roots. When you are growing radishes, the four varieties recommended below are suitable for small home . Salad radishes are excellent as intercrops or for growing in odd unoccupied areas; they must be kept moist and growing quickly to prevent them becoming tough and hot flavoured. The earliest salad radishes need the protection of a frame or cloche.
Successional sowing, every 10 days or so, of a few seeds at a time from spring into late summer will give a long season of cropping. Besides the typical salad radishes there are also the winter varieties, which are much larger rooted and are sown in late summer. They may be sliced and eaten raw or cooked in stews.
With salad radishes the earliest sowings are made under cloches or in frames from early February; unprotected sowings begin about mid-March, preferably on sheltered sites. Radish seeds are large enough to sow individually. Salad radish seeds should be sown 25 mm (1 in) apart and 20-25 mm (¾-1 in) deep, with 100-150 mm (4-6 in) space between rows. Winter radishes are sown about 150 mm (6 in) apart with 180 mm (7 in) between rows, from mid-July in the north of England and from August in the south. Water in.
Sites should be warm and sheltered for early sowings of radishes, but shady for later ones. The must be rich, preferably having been well composted for a previous crop. Keep it moist in dry weather, but do not overwater the plants.
The main pests when growing radishes, are slugs and snails, which can be controlled by pellets. Flea beetles may make small holes in the leaves.
Harvest the early radishes when suitably sized, from about early April. ‘Red Prince’, recommended for maincrop salad sowings, will grow to a large size without loss of quality.
Take a first harvest of this variety by removing alternate radishes in each row, allowing the remainder to grow on until needed. The winter radish may be harvested as soon as it is large enough.
EARLIES :’French Breakfast Forcing’; ‘Saxerre’
MAINCROP: ‘Red Prince’
WINTER: ‘Black Spanish Round’
Site: Early crops, sheltered and warm; later crops, shady
Sow: Protected, early February; unprotected, from mid-March; whiter, mid-July to August
Harvest: As required
These make a good vegetable served hot in the winter. Sow the seeds in drills 1 in. deep and 9 in. apart in mid-July in the north and mid-August in the south. Thin to one plant every 6 in. a month later. Dust with B.H.C. or lindane to keep down flea beetle for the first three weeks after seedlings appear. Hoe regularly to keep down weeds. Harvest in the winter.
Black Spanish Long, rather like long beets. The skin is black and the flesh inside pure white. Strongly flavoured.
Black Spanish Round, round, black-skinned roots the size of small turnips.
China Rose, an oval pink variety; roots the size of round beet, with white flesh.