Succeed radishes

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Radishes, it looks easy like that, but when you start, it’s not always easy to know how to do it! If you do not know anything about it or if you want to know more, abcofagri helps you to see clearly, and in addition we give you our little secrets !

3 important points:

  • Choose a suitable variety , depending on when you want to sow .
  • Radish likes a time not too cool, to have light, and especially water: watch the water supply : it is crucial!
  • Radishes grow fast in 3 to 4 weeks on average: harvest as soon as possible!

The varieties

To know ! Among the red radishes – or red and white! – there are about 40 varieties for the most common ones. We can classify these varieties into radishes called “every month” – which sow a little any time, from March to October, roughly! – and so-called hasty radishes that can be sown early in the season from February if the weather is mild or if you protect them a little – under a small greenhouse for example … So far so good?

Early radish

Early radishes have the advantage of growing in more difficult conditions early in the season.

Our favorites?

  • The radish ‘Kiva’ , which is a half-long radish, bright red with a white tip. It is the earliest of all radishes. It grows quickly, is very slow to dig and is super good!
  • The radish ‘Sarda’ , half-long, scarlet with a little white tip. His flesh is very crunchy.
  • And finally, the famous radish said ‘De 18 days’ , half-long, it has the small flaw to “dig” – become hollow – fast enough.

Radishes “every month”

Radishes “every month” are more fragile – but often they have other advantages: a more delicate taste , or the assurance that they will not sting, or that they will not “dig” … Prefer a variety of every month if you grow from May !

So here is our selection:

  • Among the most common, there is the radish ‘Flamboyant’ , half-long with white tip, very crisp and juicy.
  • The Radish ‘Bamba’ , semi-long, scarlet small white tip. His white flesh is soft and crunchy and he does not dig at all!
  • The radish ‘Cracou’ , half-long, pink with white tip, flesh crisp and sweet.
  • The radish ‘National’ , round, pink with a white tip. He does not dig or sting.
  • And finally radish ‘Raxe’ , a very bright red round radish very good, a versatile variety that can be suitable for both indoor cultivation and planting all year long!

When to sow?

So at any time, so between March and October – but be aware that:

  • Radishes enjoy mild temperatures : below 14 ° C during the day, they will grow more slowly. At the very end of winter, too low temperatures could delay germination, and then, the lack of light will not allow them to grow properly!
  • On the other hand, in the middle of summer, too high temperatures will be harmful to him. Avoid the hottest days .
  • Above all, unless you have automatic watering, radishes will need your attention every 2 or 3 days: sow when you know that you will be available for your radishes for the next 3 to 4 weeks!

Watering is the key to successful radishes!

So, that’s really THE thing to understand : biting radishes , it’s almost always due to a lack of water . Do you want sweet, chewy radishes? Check water intake regularly, from sowing to harvesting. If it rains, be quiet, but if it does not rain for more than 3 days, go put your finger in the ground and do not hesitate to water: the soil should always be slightly wet .

And after? Here is a tutorial step by step with secrets in it!

sow

Let’s go ! Your seeds in hand, let’s look for a suitable place! Radishes like sunny shows where they will grow better, but they gladly accept the partial shade. They need a light and fresh soil – of any type, provided it is sufficiently loosened!
A loosened soil is a soil in which the radish will grow easily! Avoid soils that are too heavy or clayey: if this is the case with your soil, you can return the first few centimeters of soil, gently, possibly adding compost, or fresh compost if you do not have compost . But think for next year to prepare, before the winter, your ground by mulching abundantly. We’ll talk again … Ah, too: radishes are growing fast! As a result, pebbles, stones in its path are an impassable obstacle. Remove them as much as possible! Well, let’s move on!

Dig very light , shallow furrows every 15 cm or so. Look at your seeds: the radish seeds are very small ! When we sow, we often bury the seeds at a depth equal to their size. In the case of round radishes, you will hardly need to cover them – otherwise they may not germinate! – your furrows must be very shallow. In the case of semi-long radishes, dig furrows 2 cm deep, no more.

The next problem is how many seeds to sow , and distribute them equitably! So, for the volume, count between 5 and 10 seeds per ten linear centimeters. If you want to make 1 line of 1 meter, so you do between 50 and 100 seeds … It may seem a lot, but all will not germinate, and it will clear if necessary … And for the distribution, a little trick: If you have a very loose soil, or sand, take a cup of loose earth or sand, add the amount of seeds needed – and sow this mixture ! You will have a more even distribution of the seeds. It’s not bad, is it ?

Another tip: you can also add carrot seeds to the mix – in the same proportion or a little less. Radishes will grow before the carrots and keep the young carrot shoots in the shade for the first few days. A good example of easy crop rotation !

Cover barely, and water. If you have a vaporizer , it is even better: the goal is just to moisten the substrate , without moving the seeds or even shaking them, once they have started to germinate. If you do not have a spray bottle, water really gently!

Next step: cotyledons

A few days have passed and you see the first two leaves: these are the cotyledons ! Explanation: most seeds give birth to a seedling, whose first leaves do not always look like the leaves of the final plant: they are cotyledons! These cotyledons have no function of photosynthesis, they are reserves that the seedling will use to develop. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish seedlings so young – it can be radish, but also a plant of tomatoes or cucumbers! After only, it will be easier.

Straw and lighten

Mulching your radishes will save you watering, it’s a good idea! Straw consists of covering the ground with a material that will aim to limit evaporation, among other benefits. No need for complicated mulch – recover! You can mulch with a very thin layer of dried lawn mowing for example: this will also protect your radishes from the “beat” of the rain. Do not do this too early because mulch may interfere with germination – rather, when your radishes are already out. And do not cover the plants: only straw up to the “collar” – that is where the root ends and where the stem begins.

A few days later, it will be time to clear up . Your radishes may be too close to each other, so they will not grow properly. We must therefore remove some, and leave only the most sturdy every 4 or 5 centimeters , to facilitate their development. The ones you take out, you can – if they’re big enough – eat them all the same – and if they’re too small – make a radish soup!

And after?

Harvesting is easy enough! You can harvest everything at once, but you can also spread a little, depending on your needs ! By cons, be careful, if you leave, do not delay too much, and continue to water regularly – at the risk of recovering at the end of radishes all spicy!

Sow every week , or every two weeks, to have radishes all season long! Change places, enjoy a line of lettuce consumed to plant radishes.

A problem ?

Your radishes are too pungent?

Watch the watering a little better next time!

Your radishes have no taste?

Conversely, too much water sometimes gives radishes very fresh, but almost tasteless! You need a good balance .

Bugs on the leaves?

Little holes in the leaves? These are flea beetles , probably the only parasites capable of attacking plants with such short lifespans. Flea beetles do not like moisture! A sprinkling on the leaves will make them leave, especially in the morning, it’s as simple as that!

Dr. Kimberly Seltzer

Postdoctoral Scholar, UC Berkeley Research Assistant, MIT

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