White radish is also known as Daikon and it is a specific kind of radish which is characterized by its large root. Compared to other types of radishes, white radish has a longer date to maturity.
White radish is believed to have originated in the Mediterranean but widely grown and consumed throughout East Asia. Daikon is a winter radish and so, it grows best when left to mature in colder weather.
Thus, it is typically grown in midsummer to early fall on the basis of the growing zone. White radishes come in three main types which are: oblong, tapered, and round and they are often used as cover crops to reduce erosion, as well as to loosen the soil. To grow white radish:
1) Determine When to Grow your Radish Depending on your Growing Zone
The date to plant your white radish seeds depends on your growing zone. Note that it is best to aim to sow your seeds about two months before your predicted frost date as it doing this will help to ensure that the plants nature in time for harvest. Sow the seeds every inch in rows 12 – 18 inches apart. Ensure that the seeds are planted at a depth of a quarter to half inch.
2) Get a Suitable Spot
To grow your radishes, get a spot having full sun to obtain the best results. A location having partial shade can also be okay.
3) Prepare the Soil
Before planting your white radish seeds, you need to prepare the soil. Note that white radishes grow best in soils having a pH between 5.8 and 6.8. White Radishes grow best in already loose soil even though their roots can loosen compacted soil.
Having compacted soil? Loosen it using a broad-fork before proceeding to the planting process. Avoid adding excessive amounts of nitrogen to the soil as excessive nitrogen will lead to the growth of large greens but small roots.
After planting your seeds, ensure to water and always keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Within few days, the seeds will germinate. A week after germination, you can thin the seedlings 4 – 6 inches apart.
The plants should mature within 40 – 70 days of planting depending on the variety. Sometimes, a part of the root will be visible above the ground. This is a normal situation. Ensure to always water every few days most especially if there isn’t any rain.
Harvest your radishes when they mature. Note that white radishes have a higher capacity of growing large while maintaining quality than the traditional radish varieties.
However, if left to grow too big, they can become pithy and spongy. Thus, harvest once they are mature. You can however, extend the time to harvest by protecting plants with floating row covers.
Once you pull your radish plants out of the ground, cut off the leaves at their base. Doing this will enable the roots to be stored for some weeks under the right conditions.
White radishes should be stored in cold, moist environment. You can store the roots in the refrigerator using a damp cloth or damp paper towel. The leaves can be stored in a zip-top plastic bag and refrigerated.
White radish is easy to grow just like the traditional radish varieties. You can increase the storage life of your radishes by not washing the roots or leaves until they are ready to be used or consumed. Other names of white radish apart from Daikon are Chinese radish and Japanese varieties.