The best way to plant your radishes is to plant your radish seeds directly in the garden. Doing this will prevent root disturbance. The seeds can be planted either during spring or fall depending on your choice. Radish is very easy to grow and to grow radish, the following steps should be carried out:
1) Selection and Preparation of a Planting Site
When selecting your gardening spot, select a sunny area. Planting your radishes in too much shade or where they are likely to be covered with shade from neighboring plants will result in them using all their energy into producing larger leaves. (Check out our guide about whether Radish should be planted in sun or shade.)
Also, enrich the soil with organic matter and the soil needs to be loose and not compacted. Having compacted soil? Mix in some sand to loosen it. With this, the soil will also have improved drainage.
To enrich the soil with organic matter, you can add a few inches of aged compost or all-purpose fertilizer into the planting site. Afterward, till the garden bed to eliminate any form of rock or dirt clods before planting.
2) Planting of Radishes
For spring planting, sow your seeds 4 – 6 weeks before the average date of the last frost. As mentioned earlier, it is best to plant your radish seeds directly in the garden to avoid root disturbances.
Sow your seeds half to one inch deep and one inch apart in rows 12 inches apart. You can plant another batch of seeds every 10 days. This gives a continuous harvest of radishes in the late spring and likewise, early summer.
Prior to the first fall frost, sow your radish seeds 4 – 6 weeks before then. The radishes should be thinned to about 2 inches when the plants are 7 days old. Note that crowded plants have a poor rate of growth.
The soil should be kept evenly moist but not waterlogged. To achieve this, you can make use of a drip irrigation system. Apply a thin layer of mulch around the radishes to help them retain moisture in dry conditions.
3) Weeding & Control of Pests and Diseases
Weeds can be very nasty and can crowd out your radish plants. You can control them by pulling them out or using a hoe to cultivate carefully and properly around your radish plants.
Other ways by which you can control weeds include mulching using a thin layer of weed-free straw, untreated grass clippings, or compost. Certain pests such as snails, slugs, aphids, beetles, cabbage loopers, e.t.c attach radish plants and so, using floating fabric row covers helps to ward off pests from your garden.
Cutworms can be prevented by using plant collars made from cardboard rolls or plastic cups. Always ensure your radish plants have adequate room to grow alongside good air circulation as this is another way of preventing pests and diseases.
3) Harvesting Radish
Radishes are fast-growing crops and for some varieties, it should be ready for harvesting about three weeks after planting. For most varieties, you can harvest when the roots are approximately one inch in diameter at the surface of the soil.
You can confirm if it is ready for harvesting by pulling one out and having it tested before proceeding to harvest others. Once radishes are mature for harvesting, harvest them and do not leave them in the ground as this can make their condition deteriorate faster.
After harvesting, cut the tops, as well as the thin root tail off, and wash the radishes. The radishes should be dried properly before storing them in plastic bags and refrigerating.
Radish seeds are known to possess a fairly long shelf life and so, you can plant radish seeds that are up to 4 – 5 years old. Even if all don’t germinate, many definitely will.