Growing White Radishes
Botanical Name: Raphanus sativus
We think of radishes, usually, as bright red root crops. But lots of radishes with white skin and white flesh are also available and easy to grow in any garden.
White radishes come in two general categories: round white radishes that are sown by seed in spring or late summer for quick harvest and larger, longer varieties – Asian-type radishes, for the most part – that are sown in midsummer for an autumn or early winter harvest. Both kinds are good to grow!
Mild, for the most part, crispy, and especially suitable for cooking in stir-fry or pickled dishes, white radishes are also exciting to look at: unexpectedly brilliant in the usually green vegetable panoply.
To grow white radishes, always provide a well-worked soil with plenty of organic material dugin; radishes also need a lot of moisture, evenly distributed throughout the growing season, and full sunshine for most of the day.
Check out these white radishes, which are easy to grow as long as sown as seed at the right time:
- Philadelphia White Box. This robust white radish dates back several hundred years as a distinct type. The somewhat squat shape indicates that these radishes are sown in very cool soil and mature in 30 days. That means fleshy, nutritious roots to harvest in just over a month.
- White Beauty. This heirloom radish matures in less than month: 25 days. The shape is rounded but flat, the skin a creamy matte. Plant this one in the coldest margins of the growing season.
- Japanese Minowase Daikon. A huge Japanese radish that can grow to two feet in length, the Minowase is a staple of Asian cooking for fresh salads, stir fry, or pickling. Sow in summer for a harvest several months later in Autumn.
- Tama Hybrid. Here’s another Asian radish, in this case long and cylindrical, with a thick topping of green and white greens. Don’t sow the seeds of this radish until late summer, or it may bolt and get tough.
- White Chinese Celestial. This mild winter radish takes about 60 days to mature. The size is about six or eight inches long and up to three inches across. It’s a valuable garden companion in the colder seasons
- Watermelon. If you want a radish that’s white on the outside but pink or red on the inside, look no further. Watermelon is a round radish that can be sown in summer and harvested in the autumn or winter.
- Ping Pong Hybrid. The name describes the shape: white and perfectly round. This is a short-season radish, so plant the seeds in early spring or late summer.
- Hailstone. So fast to reach maturity: only 25 days, or less than a month. This radish can be harvest as soon as it reaches an inch in diameter.
No matter what kind of radishes you grow, weed them gently and keep the developing plants supplied with water. Thin seedlings if crowding is preventing shapely development of roots.