If you’re looking for something that your children can grow, or if you just want to show off with a crop that can’t go wrong, buy a packet of radish seeds. They’re great for small gardens, and can also be grown in window boxes if you have no garden at all.
Radishes are very easy to grow, and your crop will be ready in a mere three weeks. They’re delicious eaten raw, or roasted with other summer vegetables.
Which ones to choose:
There are three types of radish. You can choose from the red or red and white summer salad ones, the white Japanese mooli varieties and winter radishes. Let’s go for the summer ones, assuming you’re just getting started.
Choose the crisp, white Cherry Belle, or Scarlet Globe, which is strong tasting and fast-growing. Alternatively, go for another good salad variety: French Breakfast 3, which is well regarded. Have a look at Seed Parade or Dobies have an amazing collection of varieties.
- As always, preparation is all. Ideally, dig some compost into the ground first. Then rake the soil until it looks like breadcrumbs and is free from stones.
- Use a stick to mark a straight line about 2cm deep.
- Drop the individual seeds along the row, about 3cm apart.
- Cover the seeds with a thin layer of compost about 2cm deep.
- Water the row.
- Keep watering over the next three weeks.
- Weed as you wait.
- You’ll see the radishes push themselves out of the ground as they grow. If you’ve sown the seeds too close together, thin them out now.
- When they are about 2-3 cm in diameter, pull ‘em up!
- Summer radishes grow better in slight shade rather than in full sun.
- Sow between March and June outdoors.
- Don’t leave them in the ground too long, or they’ll become woody and bitter.
- Don’t sow all the seeds in one go, or you’ll end up with a glut. Instead, sow a few seeds every week.
- Keep your eyes open for slugs. Radishes crop so quickly that there shouldn’t be a problem, but be prepared!
And that really is all there is to it…