I wouldn’t say I liked spicy foods and store-bought radishes often had a rough texture or a bitter aftertaste. I’ve come to like this peppery vegetable, but I’ve also discovered that radishes are useful for far more than just their small red roots.
All pieces of the plant can be eaten and grow fast, so it’s a good choice for planting in a row or with other plants. They make many pretty flowers that draw in many helpful animals and turn into seed pods that may be eaten. Here’s more about what spring radishes can do for their home garden.
Most people grow radishes because of their spicy taproot. The roots of spring radishes are small and either round or cylindrical. Since more than 3,000 years ago, they have been grown as crops, but one’s wild ancestors still develop in Asia and the Mediterranean.
They can be red, pink, black, white, or purple, and no matter what color they are, they all taste spicy and peppery. Spring radishes grow best when it’s cool outside. They will be spicy if they are grown in hot weather.
Most spring radishes are ready to be picked 25 to 30 days after sprouting. They will also get hotter if they stay on the floor for too long, so it is recommended that you dig them up early. Depending on the type of plant, the actual size at harvest is usually written on the grain package.
You can also eat radish greens, which are best when they are young. The leaves can be hard and scratchy, so many folks find them bitter. But when they are cooked, they taste better and feel better. Like most dishes, they can also be dried and added.
Planting in sequence
The radish is named Raphanus sativus, from the Greek word for quickly appearing. Because of this, radishes are great to plant in a row. It’s called succession planting, when you plant crops one after the other.
Radishes might be sown in early spring and harvested early to create a place for another crop of greens, beans, or vegetables. Radishes could be planted in the late summer or fall after picking another crop. This is because they do best when it is cool.
The rows of vegetables that start taking longer to grow can be marked with radish plants. Radishes grow and sprout quickly. The seedlings usually come up 3 to 7 days after the seeds are planted. Mix interior radishes with slow-growing vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, chickpeas, and green onions.
The radishes will sprout long before the other seeds, which means you can easily tell the rows apart before the other, more fragile seeds come up. Although the other plants are still small, you can pick the radishes. Breaking it up helps the soil preparation for the next crop.
We let a few radishes flower in the garden every year. Radish flowers are beautiful and have many health benefits. If you don’t pick the radishes, they will soon send up a tall flower stalk. The flower stalks can grow up to 2 feet tall and have clusters of small, four-petaled pink or white flowers. A single radish plant would then bloom from spring to fall, and even after a hard frost, it will still be strong.
Pollinators will come in large numbers to the radish flowers. The flowers on our radishes are always surrounded by bees, butterflies, and even hummingbirds. Your garden will benefit a lot from these pollinators. They are particularly beneficial for squash and tomatoes, which may be problematic if not properly pollinated.
Bring in the bugs that eat them.
Radishes in bloom attract pollinators and many good bugs that eat other bugs. Predatory insects eat and kill pests that will hurt your garden plants. This is one of the best and most natural ways to keep bugs away from an organic garden.
Safe-to-Eat Seed Pods
If you don’t touch radish plants while they are flowering, they will soon grow small, pointed seed pods. Even though I wouldn’t say I like radishes, I was glad to learn you can eat seed pods. They taste like radishes but lack the root’s sharp heat. Even in a salad or stir-fry, they look different. Radish pods are simple to obtain and make an excellent snack to eat in the garden.
It’s easy to save radish seeds. After the plant makes the seed pods, let them dry on the plant for as long as possible. If frost is arriving, pick the ready pods and keep time to dry them indoors in a warm, dry, well-ventilated area. When a pod is dry, it ought to be brown and crispy, with the seeds within rattling a bit.
We normally keep completely dried seeds in their pods and store them in a brown paper bag, but you may split them apart and store them with your other seeds. Start with open-pollinated stock instead of hybrids to save radish seedlings from your garden.
Then, the seeds from open-pollinated and hybrid radish varieties will grow into plants. But open-pollinated variants would then make plants identical to those of the mother plant, while hybrid varieties would make plants that are distinct from the parent plant.