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.
Young sprouts radish bed

Young sprouts radish bed

Young sprouts radish bed closeup

Photo by: Sergei Aleksandrovich Sizov

Sergei Aleksandrovich Sizov

By: Nan Chase

Botanical Name: Raphanus sativus 

Radishes are known for their peppery roots, round and pink. But radish leaves, the vigorous top growth of developing radishes, are delicious and nutritious as a vegetable all on their own. Even if you don’t like eating radish roots you might enjoy radish greens cooked in various ways.

Growing good radish greens means growing the best possible radishes. To do that a gardener must:

  • Provide deeply worked soil with plenty of organic material mixed in. Radishes grow best when the roots are free to expand quickly.
  • Provide plenty of moisture so the soil stays evenly watered. Too much water at once can stunt radish growth and encourage pests, while too little water results in tough, sometimes bitter radishes.
  • Thin the growing young plants. Letting the plants have plenty of room – once germination is completed – will result in healthier radishes and more attractive greens.
  • Weed gently, if at all, and surround radishes with a light mulch like straw.
  • Plant most table radish seeds in cool weather only: spring or fall. The longer growing daikon radishes may be planted in summer to mature in autumn.

The humble radish leaf holds plenty of nutrition. The main attraction is a high level of vitamin C, nearly 30 percent of the daily minimum requirement in a cup of greens. In addition the radish contains dietary fiber, the bulk that helps us digest food and stay healthy.

Low in calories, the radish green also has traces of other beneficial minerals and elements.

If radish greens are picked when they are young and tender, their tendency to growing prickly hairs is avoided, and they are less likely to have bite marks from insects living in the garden. Once picked, the greens should be washed promptly by immersing them in a sink full of cold water, then drained.

Best cooked right after picking, cleaned radish greens can be kept fresh for several days by wrapping them in moist paper towels and storing in the refrigerator.

Harvest radish greens in several ways:

  • Taken from the thinned radishes
  • Cut from harvested mature radish roots
  • Cut in the field from growing radishes

To serve, steam radish greens, or sauté them with grease or fat, and then season with vinegar, salt, and pepper, or a dash of hot sauce. Include them in stews and soups.

Here are some radish varieties with greens worth growing:

  • Perfecto, a new hybrid
  • French Breakfast, with mild tops
  • Pink Beauty, uniform greens
  • Misato Rose, a long-growing late radish
  • Amethyst, with strong, shapely tops
  • Saxa 2, fast to grow and harvest
  • Easter Egg, lots of mild greens

Remember to plant radishes in succession rather than all at once. That way you get a longer lasting harvest of both roots and tops.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Growing Green Radishes

Radically different in appearance than red or even white radishes, the green radish varieties hold some delicious surprises.

Growing Tillage Radishes

New research continues to support using certain radish types to condition fields during winter, after cash crops are harvested.

Growing White Radishes

White radishes come in two distinct types: early, quick-grow white, and long-season slow-growing white. Both are great.

Growing Winter Radishes

Some radishes love, love, love the cool weather during fall and winter. Try their versatility in stir fry cooking and pickling.

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 Rapid Radishes

Radishes are quick to germinate and grow to maturity, hence the nickname “rapid radishes.”

Growing Heirloom Radishes

An ancient food crop, radishes have appeared in many forms over the centuries. It’s fun to learn about heirloom varieties.

Growing Radishes Hydroponically

Growing radishes hydroponically requires some investment in equipment and supplies – and attention to maintenance – but it works.

Growing Radish Sprouts

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

Growing Summer Radishes

Most radishes aren’t known to thrive in summer conditions, but careful selection and growing practices can produce good results.

On TV

Custom Built

7:30am | 6:30c

Mega Decks

8am | 7c

Yard Crashers

8:30am | 7:30c

Yard Crashers

9:30am | 8:30c

Yard Crashers

10am | 9c

Yard Crashers

10:30am | 9:30c

Yard Crashers

11am | 10c

Yard Crashers

11:30am | 10:30c

Yard Crashers

12pm | 11c

Yard Crashers

12:30pm | 11:30c

Yard Crashers

1pm | 12c

Yard Crashers

1:30pm | 12:30c

Tiny Paradise

2:30pm | 1:30c

Tiny Paradise

3:30pm | 2:30c

Tiny Paradise

4:30pm | 3:30c

Tiny Paradise

5:30pm | 4:30c

Tiny Paradise

6:30pm | 5:30c

Love Yurts

7pm | 6c

Love Yurts

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

Love Yurts

8pm | 7c

Love Yurts

8:30pm | 7:30c

Love Yurts

9pm | 8c

Love Yurts

9:30pm | 8:30c
10pm | 9c
11pm | 10c

Love Yurts

12am | 11c

Love Yurts

12:30am | 11:30c
1am | 12c
2am | 1c

Love Yurts

3am | 2c

Love Yurts

3:30am | 2:30c

Hidden Gold

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.