How to Grow Radishes

Radishes are a nutritious root vegetable. You’ll find them served up on crudité spreads or as thinly sliced ribbons atop a summer salad. They also can be sautéed for a buttery finish to a main dish. They have a subtle peppery flavor and a crunchy consistency when served raw. Learning how to grow radishes is great place for beginners to start gardening. Here’s why: 

Radishes can be grown from seed and planted directly into the soil. With the right fertilizer and regular watering, within about a month or two depending on variety, you’ll have a handful of radishes to harvest. Plus, you can plant them all over again for a fall harvest.

hand reaching for pink radishes in soil

Varieties of Radishes

Radishes come in many shapes and sizes. In fact, one of the most enticing draws of radishes is the visual appeal they add to a dish. The radishes we planted this season are french breakfast radishes. They have a slim shape and a magenta hue color to their skin. Their flavor is mild and we’ve enjoyed them with tacos, as salad toppings, and chopped up with hummus.

Other popular varieties of radish are watermelon radishes–true to their name–these root veggies are green on the outside and have a blush pink hue on the inside. Daikon radishes get nice and plump, so if you want to dish up large portions, these are a great options. White beauty radishes are a bit sweeter, so if you’re intimidated by the idea of learning how to grow radishes, they are a great place to start.

When to Plant Radishes

Depending on your growing zone, you’ll generally want to plant radish directly from seed into the ground around the time you plant your spring garden. Plant out your radish seeds about 4 weeks before your areas average last spring frost, or 4-6 weeks before your average first fall frost. You can even squeeze some succession plantings in between.

examining radish plants in soil

How to Care for Radishes

1. Like any other plant, think about several key things: water, nutrients, and light. Radishes thrive in full sun with at least six hours of direct sunlight a day. If covered by other plants or too much shade, radishes will grow big fat leaves rather than big, plump radish roots.

2. Water radishes as you would the rest of your garden, about once a day in dry climates. If you live in an area with lots of natural rainfall, you can water a few times a week. Generally speaking, the vegetables in your garden will require one to two inches of water a week. Remember that even and consistent watering makes for better tasting produce.

3. Commit to an organic fertilizer to reap an abundant harvest. Whether you’re planting in raised beds or in an in-ground garden, make sure that the soil is well fed with a nutrient blend designed to make vegetables grow strong, including a good rich compost.

Many people plant radishes successively. This means you’ll sow seeds about every ten days so that you can reap a gradual harvest. It’s a great way to enjoy fresh radishes through the summer months.

Maintaining Your Radish Plants

One of the most common mistakes beginner gardeners make with their radish plants is clustering them too closely together. Although relative to other plants radishes can be grown in close proximity, they still require ample room to develop into their full size and flavor potential. Once the seedlings are well establishes, thin your radishes so that they have about one to two inches between them. Thin out the weakest looking seedlings while doing so.

Also, keep an eye on your plants to keep pests and diseases at bay. Common pests that plague radishes are aphids and flea beetles. Spray your leaves with neem oil or homemade garlic spray to protect from common issues like these.

hand holding radish plant above soil

What to Plant Near Radishes

It’s always a good idea to think about companion planting when planting a garden and learning how to grow radishes. Companion planting is a method of gardening that involves planting vegetables and flowers that benefit each other alongside one another. These root veggies add flavor to their plant neighbors.

Radishes grow well with other similar crops like carrots and onions. These plants require similar nutrients in the soil and can balance one another out. Avoid planting broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage near radishes, as these vegetables might bring in pests that harm both crops.

Mistakes to Avoid with Growing Radishes

There are some common mistakes people make when growing radishes. Here’s what you need to know– Timing is everything. Radishes must be planted at the right time of year. When temperatures reach above 80 degrees radishes lost their flavor. Plan to plant radishes in your spring garden and fall garden.

Inconsistent watering (underwatering and then overwatering to make up for dry soil) can cause radishes to split and crack. Stay on top of a daily watering routine to avoid this problem.

hand holding radish above raised bed vegetable garden

How to Harvest Radishes

Nature’s first hint that radishes are ready for harvest is when you begin to see a little pink peek-a-boo in the soil. As the bulbs of radish begin to pop up from the soil, you are likely ready to harvest your radishes.

To harvest the healthiest, tastiest produce, start by testing the radish with the biggest leaves. Pinch it near its base, give it a wiggle, and see how big it seems. If it seems to be full size, go ahead and harvest the radish. Pinch its base and give it a gentle tug. Continue to harvest the rest of the radishes until your soil is cleared.

We hope you give learning how to grow radishes a try as they are are so easy and rewarding!

More How to Grow:

Answers to Your Questions on How to Grow Radishes

How long does radish take to grow?

Most radishes grow from seed in 3-4 weeks into their full size. The size and variety of the radish also correlates with its growing time. Cherry belle radishes can come in at right about three weeks whereas french breakfast radishes take around four weeks.

Do radishes need full sun?

Radishes require at least six hours of sun a day. Radishes are full-sun crops but can also tolerate some shade, so long as they are getting 6-8 hours of sun each day.

Are radishes easy to grow?

Yes! Radishes are a great veggie for beginners to grow. All you need to do is sow seeds into fertile soil and water regularly.

Do radishes grow in raised beds?

Absolutely! You can plant radishes in raised beds so long as the beds have adequate soil that is fully prmed with fertilizer and organic materials.

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