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.

Next Up

Growing Turnips

For thousands of years, colorful turnips and their leaves have been an easy-to-grow staple cool-weather vegetable with few pests or problems.

Growing Pink Radishes

Radishes come in a rainbow of colors, from white to black, with all shades of pink and red in between. Meet some of the best.

Growing Radish Sprouts

Growing radish sprouts brings fresh flavor to salads, sandwiches, and more. Proper sanitation and handling are crucial for safety.

Growing Yellow Turnips

Turnips with yellow flesh are neither hard to find nor hard to grow, though the much more common cousins are very similar in taste and texture.

Growing Organic Radishes

Radishes grown organically serve up helpings of high-fiber, high-flavor food. With care the harvest lasts much of the year.

Growing Purple Radishes

Purple radishes have bold flavor, rich color, and greens that beg to be used. Include them in any sunny, well-watered vegetable garden.

Growing Radish Greens

Radish greens are easy to grow and perform well in the kitchen too. Say hello to an economical, nutritional cool-weather crop.

Growing Turnip Greens

In many cultures, including the Southeast US, turnips are grown as much for their tasty, highly nutritious leaves, called “greens” as for their roots. Here are a few tips to get the most out of turnip greens.

Growing Hakurei Turnips

Hakurei turnips are a chef’s delight with their early production and uniform snow-white roots which are so juicy and crisp, mild and sweet they are compared with apples.

Growing Cucumbers Vertically

Cucumbers feel right at home growing vertically, either on a trellis or in a tomato cage.

On TV

Heritage Hunters

7:30am | 6:30c

Mega Decks

8:30am | 7:30c

Mega Decks

9am | 8c

Mega Decks

9:30am | 8:30c

Mega Decks

10am | 9c

Mega Decks

10:30am | 9:30c

Mega Decks

11am | 10c

Mega Decks

11:30am | 10:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Insane Pools

8pm | 7c

Insane Pools

11pm | 10c

Insane Pools

12am | 11c

Rescue My Renovation

4:30am | 3:30c

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.