Growing Icicle Radishes

Looking to keep your cool in summer? Try heat-resistant icicle radishes, known for their ability to thrive in many garden conditions.

Photo by: NOLIMITPICTURES

NOLIMITPICTURES

By: Nan Chase

Botanical Name: Raphanus sativus

The white icicle radish has a lot of charm. Slender and long, mild-flavored yet with a hint of pepper, this variety deserves a spot in the vegetable garden.

Famously, white icicle radishes really are snow white inside and out. Their shape is more like a carrot than a typical radish: slim and tapered, pointed at the root tip, and about the size atmaturity of a person’s finger (4-6 inches).

Also like a carrot, the long white radish has crisp flesh, so crisp that you can snap it in half. That characteristic makes the icicle radish good for grating into piquant salads. Although often mild in flavor icicle radishes can have a peppery twang which some people enjoy with a generous accompaniment of salt, to bring out the juices.

The nutritious greens of the icicle radish, especially the short top variety, are generally smaller than those of red table radishes, and when washed thoroughly these leaves can be added to any country-style salad. They can also be steamed or braised, or added to soups and stews. Don’t waste a bit of this fine radish type.

Like other radishes, white icicle radishes germinate very quickly – in a matter of five days or so – and grow to maturity in 23 to 30 days. Unlike other radishes, the icicle radishes don’t grow tough, pithy, and bitter as fast as other kinds. That’s a good thing for planting seeds later in spring without having to worry about over-supply. It’s also fine to plant white icicle radish seeds a second time, in later summer, for a fall crop.

There’s not as much variety in white icicle radish seeds as there may be in table radishes or Asian radishes. But here are some features of the mostly widely available types:

  • White Icicle, also known as Lady Fingers. Growing to six inches at maturity, the standard white icicle radish dates back as an heirloom to the mid-1800’s. That means it is reliable in the garden, given proper growing conditions. Does surprisingly well in summer heat.
  • White Icicle Short Top. Not quite as heat-resistant as the white icicle radish, the short top matures at about five inches and remains mild in flavor. The tops make a delicious side dish. When grown in optimum conditions this radish has quite a bit of heft, with a one inch diameter.

All radishes grow best when planted in deeply-worked soil that contains plenty of organic material like composted leaf mold or rotted straw and manure. Radishes need full sun, and prefer soil that has been broken up and raked free of stones or lumps of clay.

Good drainage is key, as is abundant moisture throughout the growing season. Do not over-fertilize or the roots might not be well-formed; the green tops will get more of the extra nutrition instead.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Growing Radishes Indoors

If your outdoor space is limited, learn how to grow radishes indoors.

Quick-Growing Spring and Fall Vegetables

From seed to dinner table in one month? These quick-growing vegetables give the garden a good start and a lingering end.

Growing Succulents Indoors

Nearly anyone wondering how to grow succulents indoors can look no farther than their own grandmother’s windowsill, which probably boasted at least one.

Vegetable Garden Plans

Taking time to plan a vegetable garden before you plant can pay dividends throughout the season. Clever use of low rows and tall accent plants creates microclimates that different vegetables enjoy, as well as great visual effects.

Growing Succulents Outdoors

Create the right conditions for growing exotic-looking hardy succulents outdoors in an garden, anywhere in the country.

Growing Culinary Herbs

A master gardener gives tips on growing herbs at home.

Tips for a Raised-Bed Vegetable Garden

Raised-bed vegetable gardening takes very little space and allows vegetables to be grown closer together.

Growing Succulents in the Shade

There are a surprising number of succulent plants which can be grown for many years in light outdoors shade or indoors on tabletops in or near windowsills.

Is a Potato a Vegetable?

Gardeners sometimes get needlessly fussy over technical issues, such as is a potato is a vegetable. The short answer is yes! But even though it grows underground, it is not a root.

On TV

I Want That

7am | 6c

Renovate to Rent

7:30am | 6:30c

Rehab Addict

8:30am | 7:30c

Rehab Addict

9:30am | 8:30c

Rehab Addict

10am | 9c

Rehab Addict

10:30am | 9:30c

Rehab Addict

11am | 10c

Rehab Addict

11:30am | 10:30c

Rehab Addict

12pm | 11c

Rehab Addict

12:30pm | 11:30c

Tiny Paradise

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Tiny Paradise

8pm | 7c

Tiny Paradise

8:30pm | 7:30c

Tiny Paradise

9:30pm | 8:30c

Containables

10pm | 9c

Containables

10:30pm | 9:30c

Bus Life Ever

11pm | 10c

Tiny Paradise

12am | 11c

Tiny Paradise

12:30am | 11:30c

Containables

1am | 12c

Containables

1:30am | 12:30c

Tiny Paradise

3:30am | 2:30c

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Consult Our A-Z Guide

Everything You Need to Know

Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths.  

How-To Advice and Videos

Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more.

Watch DIY Downloads Now

Watch DIY Network LIVE

Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online.