Let’s Talk: Radish

Radish is one of the things that is so easy to grow and there are so many fun varieties that I can’t imaging a veg patch without them (that is, unless you hate the taste!). I’ve grown so many types and have rarely had failures. This is an easy and fun place to experiment with varieties and to learn succession sowing.

Time to Maturity: 20-30 days! So quick! This means everyone under the sun can grow radishes and get multiple crops in a season.

Diseases & Pests: Fungal diseases like Alternaria can be an issue in really wet seasons. Flea beetles (the worst!) can be real problems too, but don’t impact the plants much once they get bigger than seedling stage.

Key Words: There should be plenty of flavor descriptors to make sure you don’t end up with radishes that are too hot or spicy for your tastes. The other thing to look for is comments about pithiness. If you pick most radishes on time, you shouldn’t have much issue with this, but its good to stick with varieties that aren’t prone to it.

Use: We all know that you usually eat these fresh, either whole or sliced on salads. BUT YOU GUYS. Last year I roasted some and it was a REVELATION! Sorry for shouting. Seriously though, give them a shot roasted and you can thank me later! Amazing. But this is a veg that I like to experiment with since I can grow so many crops in on season. I’d like to try quick pickling some, radish butter (!), tarts, kebabs, salads… there are so many ideas I have stashed on my Radish board on Pinterest. So. Many. Recipes!

My Favorites: French Breakfast and Pink Beauty are wonderful varieties that don’t often get woody and have that crispy, bright, radish flavor with just enough heat to remind you what you are eating. Delightful!

French Breakfast (Left) and Pink Beauty (Right)

What I’ve Grown in the Past:

  • Cincinnati Market- a long and narrow variety that is tasty and rarely gets woody
  • Long Scarlet- same as above
  • Early Scarlet Globe- a nice traditional radish with strong flavor
  • Plum Purple- very similar to Pink Beauty, lovely violet skin. So pretty!

There are so many varieties and I’m sure I will try more in the future, but for now, I’m more than happy to tinker with the varieties I already have. I do, however, need to get much better at succession planting these so that we can enjoy them all year long.

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