Growing Spring Radishes

Spring means time to plant radish seeds, but there are many variables to determining just when springtime comes to your area.

Photo by: unknown

unknown

By: Nan Chase
Related To:

Botanical Name: Raphanus sativus

Known for being the first plants in the vegetable garden every year, radishes are generally grown from seed which is sown in the early spring. But just what does “early spring” mean?

With so many climate variations across the entire country, you have to judge the prime conditions not by the calendar but by the general soil temperature. Cool.

Many seed packets advise planting “as soon as the soil can be worked.” If you live in a zone where the ground freezes solid for a prolonged period, start planting seed once the ground has thawed.

If you live in a zone where the ground gets cold but doesn’t freeze, start planting when other flower bulbs are first emerging, from February on. And if you live in such a warm area that there really isn’t frost, wait until the coolest three-month portion of the year; most likely that will be sometime between November and February.

Whenever it is time to plant, don’t use all the seeds at once. A massive planting may result in so many ripe radishes at once that they begin to be tough, taste too hot, and become afflicted by insect pests.

Instead, use succession planting in the spring. That means planting just a portion of any seed packet, then marking the calendar and planting more in a week or so, and doing that one or two more times.

Consider using one-quarter of the seeds at one time and planting every week for a month. The result may be a steady but not overwhelming supply of tender ripe radishes that last longer at their peak conditions.

Here are some popular spring radishes:

  • Cherry Belle, the classic round, dark-pink table radish
  • French Breakfast, elegant shape and color with a mild flavor
  • White Icicle, it’s really white through and through
  • Purple Plum, a dramatic dark radish with a long white tip
  • Fire & Ice, an exciting two-tone radish featuring bold pink and white
  • Sparkler, nice moist flesh inside a dynamic pastel skin
  • Champion, the roots are smaller and fairly delicate in taste
  • Early Scarlet Globe, particular suited to light or sandy soils

Planting radishes in spring is a delight. It means that fresh greens will soon be sprouting from the radish tops – steamed or braised they are a health tonic fresh from the garden – and that succulent young radishes will be ready to eat within a few weeks.

Be sure to get the ground ready for planting radishes by clearing away debris from a row, then turning over the soil thoroughly with a shovel or fork and including some composted organic material. Rake.

Radishes and other root crops grow best if they have a foot or so of loose, fertile soil that has been cleared of rocks and is sloped a bit to encourage drainage. Plant seeds in half an inch of soil, about half an inch apart, and thin as radishes develop.

Keep Reading

Next Up

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 Forage Radishes

Using huge radishes to break apart compacted soil without plowing? That’s amazing, and that’s the new forage radish method.

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 Rapid Radishes

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

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.

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 Red Radishes

The red radish is a garden classic: early to sprout in spring, fast to mature, delicious and nutritious. The greens are good too.

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 Black Radishes

Gaining gourmet popularity, black radishes have notable looks and flavor. And they keep well for winter storage.

Growing Tillage Radishes

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

On TV

Big Beach Builds

7:30am | 6:30c

Big Beach Builds

8:30am | 7:30c

Big Beach Builds

9:30am | 8:30c

Big Beach Builds

10:30am | 9:30c

Big Beach Builds

11:30am | 10:30c

Rehab Addict

12pm | 11c

Rehab Addict

1pm | 12c

Rehab Addict

1:30pm | 12:30c

Rehab Addict

2:30pm | 1:30c

Rehab Addict

3:30pm | 2:30c

Rehab Addict

4:30pm | 3:30c

Rehab Addict

5:30pm | 4:30c

Rehab Addict

6:30pm | 5:30c

Rehab Addict

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

Pool Kings

8pm | 7c

Pool Kings

8:30pm | 7:30c

Pool Kings

9pm | 8c

Pool Kings

9:30pm | 8:30c

Pool Kings

10pm | 9c

Pool Kings

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

Pool Kings

12am | 11c

Pool Kings

12:30am | 11:30c

Pool Kings

1am | 12c

Pool Kings

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

Pool Kings

3am | 2c

Pool Kings

3:30am | 2:30c

Garage 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.