How to Plant Radishes

Planting radishes in succession every few weeks will provides many months of radish harvest throughout the growing season.

planting radish seeds

Photo by: Will Heap

Will Heap

By: Nan Chase

Botanical Name: Rhaphanus sativus

It’s important to read seed packets carefully before planting radishes. That’s because different varieties do best when planted at different times of the year and require growing periods from 21 days to 120 days to maturity.

In general, though, the familiar reddish-pink salad radishes grow best when planted in early spring or fall, as soon after winter as soil can be worked or well after soil has begun to lose the summer’s heat. In just a few weeks the radishes will be ready to eat, so horticulture experts commonly recommend not planting all the seeds at once, but instead sowing them in batches every two or three weeks for much of the growing season. The result: a continuous supply of garden-fresh radishes for the table.

How to plant radishes? Simple: radishes are always grown from seed sown directly in the ground. They don’t need to be started indoors and transplanted.

It’s best to begin with soil that has been worked thoroughly so that it is loose and friable. That way the developing radish roots – the crisp and peppery roots – don’t become misshapen by having to grow around rocks or other impediments. Radishes planted in stony or hard soil may have a lot more side roots, too, instead of one well-formed root.

As a guide to radish planting, use plenty of organic material like rotted leaf mold to loosen clay soil, but don’t fertilize too much with strong nitrogen fertilizers. An excess of nitrogen in the soil leads to heavy growth of the greens on top but not much root development where it’s needed.

The next step in radish planting is to rake the soil to eliminate any large dirt clumps. Then sow seeds ½ inch deep and about ¾ inch apart, in rows that are eight to 12 inches apart. When you have covered the seeds with soil, tamp the soil down slightly. Then water gently.

Radish plant growth is super-fast. The seeds germinate in as few as four or five days.That’s why radishes are often grown along with some slow-germinating crops – carrots or beets, for instance – and used as row markers (then harvested and eaten).

When planting radishes alone in rows, start thinning the little plants when they show two complete sets of real leaves. The ideal distance is to thin them to two inches apart. Then there will be room for the roots to get nice and round without crowding.

Plant radishes if you’re looking for efficiency in the garden. Their quick and easygrowing habits produce a delicious and healthy crop.

Next Up

When to Plant Radishes

Cool soil is perfect for planting radish seeds in the garden, so plan for spring and fall plantings for a robust harvest.

How to Store Radishes

Gardeners can store mature radish roots for several months in cool, slightly damp conditions, but the ground itself works well.

How to Grow Radishes

Easy to grow anywhere, radishes provide loads of fresh flavor. These radish growing tips will help you succeed at planting time.

How to Grow Radishes in Containers

If you have limited yard space, learn how to grow radishes in containers.

Radish Companion Planting

Companion planting with radishes makes sense, as there are many friendly neighbors that can benefit from radishes nearby.

Harvesting Radishes

Timing and technique: get them right for a delicious harvest of radishes that lasts for week or months. Ready, set, pull!

When to Plant Turnips

Turnips are cool-weather plants that can be sown in late winter, spring, or late summer to give them the two months they need to mature before it gets too hot or freezes.

Growing Asian Radishes

In the world of radishes, the numerous Asian varieties are meant to grow more slowly, and larger, than pink table radishes.

Radishes Cover Crop

The daikon or Japanese radish known as oilseed radish provides valuable services as a cover crop in farming operations.

Growing Radishes Indoors

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

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