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Kitchen Gardening

Why You Should Have Radishes in Your Garden

You know what I like about growing radishes? They're an instant gratification veggie.

  • Radishes come in an amazing assortment of colors.   Photo by clayirving under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
  • Radishes also come in some surprising shapes.   Photo by srqpix under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.

You know what I like about growing radishes? They’re an instant gratification veggie. They’re easy to grow and fast, fast, fast-maturing. Most of them, anyway. In the gardener’s world of waiting 80 days for luscious, ripe tomatoes and 100 days for mouth-watering watermelon, radishes are the harvest relief. Many varieties mature within a month which is amazing to this vegetable grower.

Another thing I love about them is the terrific colors. They come in a rainbow assortment of pink, red, white, purple, rose, and yellow. Their shapes are anywhere from ball, cylindrical, and carrot-shaped. They’re just the cheeriest little veggies going and are the perfect first vegetable for a child’s garden.

The best way to plant them is from seed and when they sprout (which seems like only hours), you can thin them with scissors. They like temperatures on the cooler side so direct seed them in early spring and keep seeding until the weather really warms up. Then start again in the fall.

One of the best places to plant radishes is in the same bed (and at the same time) as carrot seeds. Carrots are the turtles of the garden and just about the time that radishes are ready to be harvested, the carrots’ sleepy little greens are ready to be thinned.  But don’t stop there. Plant radish seeds in little areas all over your veggie beds and even among your annual flowers – no one ever runs out of room to tuck in radishes.

You want to water them often and not let them dry out or they could crack – plus the dry soil gives them hotter flavor. After I bring them into the kitchen, I chop off the greens and give them to my rabbits who are busy producing some top-notch manure for my compost pile.

More on growing radishes…

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