How to Grow Radishes in Containers
Botanical Names: Raphanus sativus
No yard? No problem! You can still plant radishes – those colorful little globes filled with crunchy taste – in pots on a porch or balcony.
Beware, though, your growing radishes will need an extra measure of tender loving care in order to thrive. Still, if you keep the containers close by and tend them every few days the results can be outstanding, and your harvest goes just a few feet to the table. If planted in succession over the course of the entire growing season there’s no reason not to get a harvest that lasts for months.
Here are some quick tips about growing radishes from seeds in containers:
- Select large pots or other containers that will retain plenty of moisture but with room for drainage at the bottom.
- Choose seeds for radish varieties that are round rather than long, so that developing roots aren’t crowded or cramped, and buy a mixture of maturing times (from 20 to 50 days).
- Fill the pots with high-quality potting soil, and experiment with adding some sterile composted soil, peat moss, or other material to provide nutrition and a loose consistency.
- Sow the seeds only ½ inch deep, a few at a time, and cover them with soil. Then water.
- Water some more, keeping them from becoming dried out. Radishes need plenty of water to make the mature root bulbs plump but they shouldn’t get soggy.
- Keep the containers in a sunny spot but keep any extra seeds in the refrigerator.
Growing radishes in a container is only part of the story. Radish seeds will germinate quickly and show some green growth within a week. Once the greens reach a few inches in height, thin the young plants so they are about one inch apart. It’s okay to plant other things nearby. Since radishes do best with only light weeding – because deep hoeing would damage the roots – containers are a perfect way to go.
Radish greens are delicious and nutritious, so use the thinnings in salads or along with other cooked greens. The larger the radishes grow, the more vigorous the greens. As you harvest completely mature table radishes to eat, cut off the greens, cook them, and serve as a gourmet dish. A dash of lemon juice, wine vinegar, or hot sauce makes a great topping.
Another suggestion for how to grow radishes in a pot: replant another batch of seeds every two to three weeks as space allows. That way you stretch the growing season and the harvest. Radishes prefer cool soil, so start your container garden early in spring.
To grow big daikon radishes or the icicle-type long radishes, just make sure to select a container that’s quite deep. These longer-season radishes can grow to a foot long!