How to Grow Summer Radish is a step by step guide to show you how easy it is to grow radishes. Sow seeds every couple of weeks so you can enjoy fresh salad all summer long. I’ve also included some recipes for you to make with radishes at the end of this page.
What are Radishes?
Radishes are small crunchy roots with a peppery taste, they are usually eaten raw in salads.
You can also get winter radishes like mooli, which are a larger and take longer to grow, however, this article is focussing on spring or summer radish varieties.
Surprisingly, radishes are part of the brassica family, like cabbages, brussels sprouts, and cauliflowers. They are also related to mustard which explains the peppery taste.
Why grow Radish?
- Easy to grow
- High in anti-oxidants
- Low in calories, no fat and virtually no carbohydrates
- Good source of vitamin C which boosts your immune system
- High in potatssium which can help lower blood pressue
When do I sow the radish seeds?
It depends on the climate where you live, but in the UK you can plant radishes outside between March and mid-August.
I live in Scotland so I rarely sow radish seeds outside before April. As a rule of thumb, wait until the last frost has passed before sowing.
Help! I’ve never grown anything before
Don’t worry, I will take you through the steps to successful growing. I am not a professional gardener, but I have over 30 years of success in growing food in my garden.
How to Grow Summer Radish
There are many different varieties of summer radish, and the good news is that they are all easy to grow. I can recommend French Breakfast which is a longer cylindrical radish. I also grow either Cherry Belle or Topsi for a really red round radish. Some seed merchants sell a mix with different colours which is fun and looks good on your plate.
Please check the directions on the seed packet, it’s highly likely that the instructions on the packet will be very similar to the steps below but always check the seed packet.
Where do I plant the radish seeds?
Plant the seeds in the place they will be growing, they don’t like to be transplanted. The soil should be fertile and moisture-retaining, if you have sandy soil, then enrich it with garden compost or well-rotted farmyard manure. Sow the seeds in a place that gets sun most of the day.
How do I sow radish seeds?
Lay a cane or a long stick to mark a straight line for sowing the seeds. Use a trowel, an old spoon or your fingers to create a groove that is 1 cm deep.
Use a watering can to soak the row where you plan to sow the seeds.
Shake a few seeds from the packet onto the palm of your hand, then sow them 2.5 cm apart along the length of the row.
Grow as a Catch Crop
Radish grows and matures quickly, make the most of limited space and grow them between slower growing plants like peas. beans and potatoes.
Don’t use all the seeds in the packet in one sowing. Sow seeds every two or three weeks to keep a continuous supply of tender young radishes all summer.
Cover the seeds with soil with your trowel and mark the end of the row with a marker to show what you have planted in that row.
Make your own plant labels by cutting up plastic containers that are white inside. Large Yogurt containers are particularly good.
Thin out the seedlings if needed
Sometimes I get a bit overenthusiastic and sow the seeds too close together. If the seeds have been sown too thickly, you can pull out some of the seedlings until they are 2.5cm apart to make more room for them to grow properly and form nice fat radishes.
Keep the radish well-watered
Water the soil, the seedlings, and the grown plants frequently, particularly if there has been no rain, or you have very free-draining soil.
Can I grow summer radish in a container?
Yes, you can grow radish in a large container or a grow bag. They don’t need a great depth of soil but do need to be sown 2.5cm apart.
Fill the container with multipurpose compost, water well, place the seeds 2.5 cm apart then cover with a thin layer of compost.
Harvesting your Summer Radish
Loosen the soil around the radishes you plan to harvest, then pull out the root by the base of the leaves. Don’t leave the radishes in the ground too long or they will become tough and woody.
Preparing the radishes for eating
You can eat the roots and the leaves of radishes. The youngest leaves can be added to your salad, older leaves can be lightly cooked and served like spinach.
Twist off the leaves and thoroughly wash the roots removing all the dirt. If you plan to eat the leaves wash them thoroughly then spin in a salad spinner to dry, or wrap loosely in a clean tea towel and pat dry.
After washing the radishes cut off the top and the tail of the root. Quarter or slice to serve.
Summer Radish Pests and Diseases
Most modern seed varieties are bred to be disease-resistant. Check when you buy the seeds to make sure you get a robust and well-tested variety from an established seed company because this is the best way to get a successful crop.
Slugs and Snails
Slugs and snails enjoy radishes as much as we do, therefore they are the biggest menace and danger to your radish crop.
There are many different ways to deter them including beer traps, eggshells and coffee grounds. I have had some success with small branches of holly leaves cut from my holly tree.
You can also go out at night and pick the slugs out of your garden but be sure to dispose of them far away or they will soon return.
Flea beetle eats the radish leaves, you will see small holes and the damaged areas will be brown. To avoid flea beetle keep the soil mosit, you may need to cover the plants with horticultural fleece. Don’t grow radish in soil where you have previously grown other brassicas for example, cabbages, cauliflower and broccoli.
More How to Grow Features
How to Grow Salad Bowl Lettuce is a step by step guide to show you how easy it is to grow salad leaves so you can enjoy fresh salad all summer long.
Radish Recipes from Farmersgirl Kitchen
Radish Asparagus Avocado Salad brings together the very best of early summer ingredients. It’s a fresh and light salad served with a creamy yogurt, fennel, and garlic dressing and it is really very delicious.
Cicchetti are small appetisers you eat with an aperitif in the bars of Venice. I recreated these delicious little open sandwiches after a trip to Venice and one of my toppings included radishes.
Chimichurri Steak Salad is a feast of a recipe featuring strips of delicious steak, a spicy chimichurri sauce and a stunning display of salad veggies to load up and enjoy with flatbreads. Recipe from Seriously Good Salads by Nicky Corbishley
More Radish Recipes
- Fennel, Carrot and Apple Slaw – Tin and Thyme
- Peas on Toast with Mint and Radishes – Veggie Desserts
- Smoked Mackerel Salade Nicoise – Kellies Food to Glow
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How to Grow Summer Radish
- cane or long stick
- Watering can
- 10 litres multipurpose compost If growing in a container
- 1 packet Radish seeds summer grwoing varieties
- Plant the seeds in a place that gets sun most of the day. The soil should be fertile and moisture-retaining, if you have sandy soil, then enrich it with garden compost or well-rotted farmyard manure.
- Lay a cane or a long stick to mark a straight line for sowing the seeds. Use a trowel, an old spoon or your fingers to create a groove that is 1 cm deep.
- Use a watering can to soak the row where you plan to sow the seeds.
- Shake a few seeds from the packet onto the palm of your hand, then sow them 2.5 cm apart along the length of the row.
- Use your trowel to cover the radish seeds with soil and mark the end of the row with a marker to show what you have planted in that row.
- The radishes should start to grow fairly quickly. If some seeds have grown too close together, thin them out so there is one seedling every 2.5 cm.
- Water frequently especially if there has been no rain.