When to Plant Radishes

Cool soil is perfect for planting radish seeds in the garden, so plan for spring and fall plantings for a robust harvest.

Photo by: IrinaMatviiuk

IrinaMatviiuk

By: Nan Chase

Botanical Name: Raphanus sativus

Radishes do best when grown from seed in the cooler seasons of the year. Cool soil = good growth.

The hardy radish seeds are amazingly quick to mature to eating size – sometimes in three weeks, depending on the variety. You can plant radish seeds and often see the first growth in just five days!

Seeds for these fast-maturing table radishes should be sown a little bit at a time in succession over the course of a month or two, beginning in the earliest spring, with a second planting again at the end of summer. That way you don’t end up with too many to use at once. Radishes left in the ground to grow too long can become woody and bitter, while tender young radishes taste crisp and light.

On the other hand, there are a relatively few radish varieties that take much longer to mature.These should be planted mostly in the late spring, to mature anytime from late summer to early winter. Seed catalogs and seed packets are indispensable tools in determining which kinds are which.

Depending on where you live and garden, the term “cool soil” can mean any month from
February through June, or August through November! Southern gardeners have much more latitude in planting, and gardeners in cold northern climates will have just a few months to plant.

With careful planning and planting, gardeners can have two lengthy harvests of radishes in a year, and the growing season gets even longer when it includes some of the more heat-tolerant varieties.

So radish season is a highly local affair…at least if you hope to harvest crunchy and not too spicy radishes. Here is some more detailed information about when to plant radishes:

  • For the fastest growing radishes, which mature in about three weeks, plant the first seeds once the worst of winter weather is over, and continue planting every week or so until about June.
  • Make the second planting when the summer’s heat and most intense sunlight begin to fade, say, in mid to late August.
  • For certain types of radishes the maturity ranges from 50-120 days rather than the more common 20-45 days. These radishes should be planted in late spring, say, before the end of June. They will mature sometime in the autumn, and most can be left in the ground past the first frost.
  • Be sure to utilize seed catalogs or read packets for the days to maturity…and plant accordingly. Such resources tell gardeners just how long it takes for radishes to grow.
  • For the radishes that do best in mid-summer heat – and there are some -- key words to look for include “slow to bolt” and “resists pithiness.”

The wonderful world of radishes holds a staggering array of seeds for all possible growing conditions.

Next Up

How to Plant Radishes

Planting radishes in succession every few weeks will provides many months of radish harvest throughout the growing season.

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Turnips are cool-weather plants that can be sown in late winter, spring, or late summer to give them the two months they need to mature before it gets too hot or freezes.

When to Harvest Turnips

Turnips can be pulled and eaten any time after they start growing really well but are completely mature and ready to harvest within six or eight weeks of planting. They can be stored for weeks or even months if harvested correctly.

Fertilizer for Radishes

Radishes grow well in generally fertile soil, but there’s such a thing as too much fertilizer for radishes. A little bit goes far.

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If it has brown skin and white flesh, it is still a sweet potato not a yam. White sweet potatoes are grown more often than their orange counterparts.

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

Is a Rutabaga a Turnip?

Not quite a turnip, rutabaga is a cool-weather garden crop that’s also a sweet treat for the winter table.

Harvesting Radishes

Timing and technique: get them right for a delicious harvest of radishes that lasts for week or months. Ready, set, pull!

Growing Radishes from Seed

Quick to germinate, radish seeds stay viable for several years and are used for succession planting with other crops to mark rows.

How to Store Radishes

Gardeners can store mature radish roots for several months in cool, slightly damp conditions, but the ground itself works well.

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