Radishes

radishes at a roadside market

Credit: Annette McCarthy
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Botanical name: Raphanus sativus

Plant type: Vegetable

USDA Hardiness Zones: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Sun exposure: Full Sun

Soil type: Any

Radishes are a hardy, cool-season vegetable that can produce many crops each season due to its rapid days to maturity. Radishes can be planted in both the spring and the fall, but growing should be suspended in the warmer months. They are a very easy vegetable to grow.

Planting

  • Plant 4-6 weeks before the average date of last frost, after aged manure or organic fertilizer has been worked into soil.
  • Direct sow seeds ½ inch to an inch deep and one inch apart in rows 12 inches apart.
  • Thin to about 2-inch spacings. Crowded plants will not grow well.
  • Radishes need sun. If they are planted in too much shade—or even where neighboring vegetable plants shade them—they put all their energy into producing larger leaves.
  • Practice three-year crop rotation.
  • Plant consecutively every two weeks or so while weather is still cool for a continuous harvest of radishes.
  • Plan on a fall planting. You can plant radishes later than any other root crop in late summer or early fall and still get a harvest.

Care

  • Radishes require well-drained soil with consistent moisture.
  • Thin radishes to about an inch apart when the plants are a week old. You will be amazed at the results.

Pests

Harvest/Storage

  • Radishes will be ready to harvest quite rapidly, as three weeks after planting for some varieties.
  • Do not leave in the ground long after mature stage, their condition will deteriorate quickly.
  • Cut the tops off short, wash the radishes and dry them thoroughly. Store in plastic bags in the refrigerator.
  • Radish greens can be stored separately for up to three days.
     

Recommended Varieties

  • ‘French Breakfast’ late maturing variety, does ok in moderate heat.
  • ‘Burpee White’ spring variety, white skin.

Recipes

Cooking Notes

  • ‘French Breakfast’ late maturing variety, does well in moderate heat.
  • ‘Burpee White’ spring variety, white skin.
     

Wit & Wisdom

Don’t be afraid to plant seeds that are up to five years old. All may not germinate, but you’ll have plenty that will.

Comments

hi,i planted some radishes

By petar

hi,i planted some radishes first time this year and i am about to plant some more this days BUT,the already planted ones have small and extra helthy round nice red radishes with pretty big leaves ,BUT i am worried because they are to small ?? about 1,5cm in diametar the BIGGEST ONE any help ?? please,faster,im hungry :8

We have picked and eaten some

By Jan and Mike

We have picked and eaten some lovely radish, but now we have noticed that some (both small and large) are splitting open in the garden. Is this too much water or something we are doing wrong?

Radishes are best picked when

By Almanac Staff

Radishes are best picked when relatively young and small (usually staring when roots are less than 1 inch in diameter) or they get spongy and taste hot. If your radishes are splitting, then they are getting too old.  You also want to provide consistent moisture as uneven bouts could also cause splitting.

Hi i don't know how to

By ziaaddin ziaa

Hi
i don't know how to produce seeds from radish help me please

I left some radish bulbs in

By Sara Busch

I left some radish bulbs in the ground just to see what would happen. They flowered (very pretty little white and pink flowers) and then once the flowers dropped off little pods formed. I opened a pod yesterday and inside was a small round seed. I am going to treat the pods like peas or beans and let them grow until they start to dry out and then pullup the entire plant, seperate the seeds from the pods and let them dry before storing them for the summer. This is all off the top of my head, hope it helps give you some ideas.

I plant watermelon radishes

By Steve Jaasund

I plant watermelon radishes in late April in the Puget Sound area. The grew great with giant healthy leaves.....but no roots! The area I planted them in has worked with other types of radishes before. I suspect I over fertilized using Miracle Grow several times. Comments?

They may have depleted the

By jase

They may have depleted the calcium if you plant them in the same place year after year,try adding ground up egg shells to the bed

When harvesting my radishes

By Pamela F.

When harvesting my radishes they were irregular in size, shape (not rounded) and looked black! The prior season I had perfect radishes! What gives? My husband did say he tilled gypsum into the soil where I had them planted. Could that have been the culprit?

You may wish to bring a

By Almanac Staff

You may wish to bring a sample to your cooperative extension service office. Radishes rarely have pests or problems. The only time the root can have a black color (unless it's meant to be a black radish) is black rot, which starts at the root. This is caused by a soil-borne fungus. The solutions are crop rotations every 3 to 4 years (so do not plant radishes in this spot for a while!) and good soil drainage so they don't get wet feet. The long-rooted radish are more prone to this disease; the rounded types are usually safer.

Hi! I accidentally planted my

By Wendy Villavicencio

Hi! I accidentally planted my radishes (red belle?) without knowing that they were a cool weather crop ( it's June in Florida... Hot and humid) I just harvested a couple and they are extremely spicy. Is there some way I can still use them? Or are they a lost cause and should go to my compost pile?

The main trick to having

By Almanac Staff

The main trick to having milder radish flavor (versus hot and spicy) is to harvest them as soon as they're mature. Don't leave them in the ground or they get hot and woody. In addition, they taste better when you grow them in cooler weather and keep the ground moist. Otherwise, you get what you get!  Frankly, they grow SO quickly that you can seed every few weeks.The best time for Florida is September through March.

Hello, I planted radishess in

By Dale swink

Hello, I planted radishess in April, in the San Fernando Valley, zone 19 I believe. I followed the advice of a local greenthumb 'expert' using 1/2 chicken manured and 1/2 potting soil sewn 3 inches apart, an inch deep, all 40 seeds sprouted, grew about an inch, and abruptly stopped. They won't die, but they won't grow. I have even spaced them out even further, with less manure in the mix, nothing. They just sit there. They get about 6-7 hrs of good strong sun a day, and I water them to moisture in the AM. I am trying to convince my wife that only oranges and porn stars grow in the San Fernando Valley, but she insists.

advantage of using the

By ayahtoolah fahyaz

advantage of using the treatment of thinning of white redish?

My radishes are very hot from

By gneip1

My radishes are very hot from my first harvest. Planted three weeks ago and have had sufficient rain, but the weather has been hot and cold from one week to the next. Any ideas why they would be so hot to taste.

Hello, I live in Kansas and

By kansan

Hello, I live in Kansas and it is currently late May. I planted my radishes 4 days ago in my garden just because I completely forgot about them while I planted the rest of my garden last month. Well anyways, I planted the seeds 4 days ago and this afternoon pretty much all of the seeds I planted came up. Kansas has been random this year on temp, two weeks ago it was 86 degrees and the next night we got down to 35, Its been hell trying to get this garden going. How do you think my radishes will do? its looking like it will be 70-85 for a few more weeks.

Radishes can become stronger

By Almanac Staff

Radishes can become stronger in flavor and pithy in warmer temperatures. With the longer daylength and warmer temperatures, they also bolt (send up a flower stalk) faster; in this case, the growth of the radish root slows. Radish plants like air temperatures between 50 and 65, ideally. Some cultivars are more heat tolerant. Perhaps the best you can do is try to keep them cool; use row covers or similar during the hottest part of the day. Keep the soil consistently moist (not soggy). Be sure to thin them to recommended spacing so as not to stress the plants with overcrowding (pinch seedlings off at the base, rather than pulling them up). A Kansas Cooperative Extension article recommends planting in mid- to late March and early September, so if this crop doesn't fair well, you'll at least have another opportunity for a fall crop.

It's about 100degresse right

By Ken craft

It's about 100degresse right now in south california should I get the seeds now?
What temp should i plant it at

Yikes, Ken! Most radishes are

By Almanac Staff

Yikes, Ken! Most radishes are cool-weather plants that like 55°F to 85°F for germination and 50°F to 65°F for growing. Hot temps can cause radishes to bolt (go to seed) quickly. If they do grow, the radishes are liable to be bitter and ... well ... hot. At the very least, wait till it cools off at least a little. Better yet, try to find a hybrid that works fine in heat, such as Rover.

I just bought some radish and

By Curious

I just bought some radish and celery seeds. It's currently the beginning of May. I live in Western Canada. Would it be all good to plant them now? If so, when would expected harvest be?

We're Curious, too! Where in

By Almanac Staff

We're Curious, too! Where in western Canada are you? As you may know, planting times are based (among other things) more on north-south location than east-west. Go to "Gardening" above and click on "Best Planting Dates for Seeds." Then enter your town and province to get the ranges for a number of veggies. Also check out "Frost Dates Calculator" to get your approximate growing seasons for radishes and celery. Check your seed packets for time to maturity, but in general radishes (easy to care for) take 3 to 4 weeks and celery (harder), 3 to 4 months. The short answer: Yes, get planting!

We are growing French

By Eliza, Michal and Sophia

We are growing French Breakfast radishes for a science project on the effects of acid rain and are wondering how much soil they need (metric system please!), and the depth of the soil we need. Would 2/3gallon pots work well? We are also wondering how much water they need every day (in mL). Thank you so much!
Eliza, Michal and Sophia

I presume that all radishes

By John M

I presume that all radishes are the same. I would like to plant horseradish to harvest the roots. Does the same planting tips and schedule apply

Hi John, Horseradish is a

By Almanac Staff

Hi John,
Horseradish is a perennial and usually planted as root cuttings. Plant in a container or in a spot where they won't be disturbed, possibly in the border of the garden. Horseradish needs little or no attention in order to thrive. It likes a sunny spot and water once a week during dry spells. You can harvest horseradish one year after planting.

I just planted my radishes 2

By I Can't Tell, sorry

I just planted my radishes 2 days ago, they haven't sprouted yet. Is that normal? And not only that how much water do you water? I'm doing half a gallon or something a day, that's too much right? And I also need tips on how to not let the rabbits devour my radishes, thanks for the time!

My radishes came up...the

By Lynettebeme

My radishes came up...the stems are above the ground about an inch then the leaves begin...do I need to put more soil to the beginning level of the leaves or leave the plants as they are?

Radishes aren't very picky

By Almanac Staff

Radishes aren't very picky and they should grow easily. If the roots are above the ground, your soil might be too compact. Add some sand.

Alternatively, you can

By ForestWilson

Alternatively, you can research "double digging" and loosen up your soil

Does anyone know if the

By Tonia

Does anyone know if the radish and beet seeds I planted will survive freezing temps and light snow? I have the radishes covered with a row cover and beets covered in a hoop house. I had them in the ground maybe 6 days before the unexpected snow/freezing temps, and they had not germinated yet. Will I most likely need to re-sow?

They may have survived. Wait

By Almanac Staff

They may have survived. Wait and see if they will start growing. If they come up sparse you can fill in the gaps with more seed.

Can I cut the green leaves of

By Sanjiv Dhingra

Can I cut the green leaves of the radish while the radish is still not matured and still in the fields.

Zero. The only time you cut

By John F. Tucker

Zero. The only time you cut the radish leaves is when you harvest the tuber itself.

The leaves are the key to

By Almanac Staff

The leaves are the key to growth, so your answer is no.  Harvest as soon as roots reach edible size and harvest quickly. You can use the greens, too, in many recipes.

What about the amount of

By Cynthia Wylie

What about the amount of water? Radishes are not on your watering chart. Thank you,

Water is very important to

By John F. Tucker

Water is very important to radishes. Always water in thw morning. If yours leaves turn yellow; you have watered too much.

It really depends on your

By Almanac Staff

It really depends on your soil type; radishes need about 1 to 1-1/2 inches of water a week. What's most important is to water consistently; avoid moisture fluctuations or you'll slow growth and get a bitter taste. You have watered enough if you can press a handful of soil into a firm ball and your finger marks make an imprint on the ball. Your hand will feel damp but not moist, the soil doesn’t stick to your hand, and the ball is pliable.

Hi, after 5/7 days of

By Sanjiv Dhingra

Hi, after 5/7 days of plantation small leaves are coming from the seeds.
But there are at least 15- 20 small plants as a bunch coming at a single place.

Should I remove all but one. What is the best time to remove the crowed plant's leaving only one.

Can I use the removed plant to grow somewhere else.

Regards

One way to prevent this is to

By wilkeya

One way to prevent this is to lay out a long strip of toilet paper and place seeds on it. the white background makes it easier to see the seeds and the paper detiorates rapidly.

See the planting information

By Almanac Staff

See the planting information above. (Thin to about 2-inch spacings. Crowded plants will not grow well.) No, you can't transplant but you can eat the thinnings.

Hello it's my first time

By Kajm1130

Hello it's my first time growing radishes and I have no idea how to tell when they're ready to pick. They just started showing and they're about an inch to two inches above the ground.

I harvested seeds from my

By tam hobbs

I harvested seeds from my radish plants...I was wondering if i can use them to make sprouts or if i need "sprouting seeds"

Yes, you can save radish

By Almanac Staff

Yes, you can save radish seeds and replant unless they've been cross-pollinated.

hi im a farmer in the

By Ecriton GIBSON

hi im a farmer in the Caribbean only weather we have is sun and short amount of rain I am going to try radish for first time my question is how many seeds to a hole

I planted my first garden

By Crystal M

I planted my first garden this spring. I have been watching my radishes closely. I've have about 5 that could be eaten. The rest have not developed and now plants have bloomed. What to I do? What did I do wrong? Please Help

Radishes can be eaten young

By Almanac Staff

Radishes can be eaten young -- no more than 1 inch in diameter. Radishes can bloom if the weather is too hot; some of the spring varieties do best in cool temperatures. You may need to plant this variety earlier.
Another reason that radishes don't develop is because they are seeded too closely and they are not thinned enough.

I had the oppocite problem of

By LadySharon

I had the oppocite problem of many on here. I planted carrots and radishes in alterniate rows--- but way too late. In fact I think I planted around the first week of June. The only thing that came up were three radishes all in a row. My garden is very rich and unfortunatly produces ALOT of weeds. I concentrated on weeding around my squash and potato plants and as the area of the radishes was mostly bare - let it go. I recently (this weekend) weeded that area and rediscovered the radishes. They still were nice little plants - they hadn't bolted or anything... but the radish was coming up through the ground and they were huge! One is about the size of my closed fist. My mom told me I waited too long... but the plants themselves didn't look like it --- I've never done radishes before and I guess I thought much like garlic or onion you let the tops die first. (guess not!) So.... does this mean I have alot of potassium in the soil? And my mom said they would be too tough to eat... which is why I googled harvest time. I wanted to know the time to pull them from when I first see the plant sprout so I don't have it happen again and I get nice little radishes. I'll try to plant again in the fall.

Spring radishes are ready to

By Almanac Staff

Spring radishes are ready to harvest 21 to 60 days after sowing. They mature rapidly so you do want to keep an eye on them.
The best way to determine when the radishes are ready to harvest is to simply push back a little soil to see if a bulb has grown and then pick and taste a few.
The roots are mature when they push out of the ground a little and measure about 1 inch across. 

My radishes are spicy or

By jeninjune30

My radishes are spicy or acidy. I'm not sure what I did wrong. This is my first time planting a garden.

Radishes are spicy and

By Almanac Staff

Radishes are spicy and acidic.  However, they can be "hotter" if they are growing too slowly or they are too old. Also, select a mild variety of seed.

I thinned my radishes to the

By Olivia

I thinned my radishes to the correct measurements and they look great except, they haven't rounded. They are just long and thin red roots... Is this normal, does it mean they are still growing? Cause I've already had a couple pretty good round ones... so please help!?

Radishes are a cool weather

By Almanac Staff

Radishes are a cool weather crop. In warm weather they bolt more quickly and put most of the growth into the tops. If your tops are growing and you are not getting radishes it's best to remove the plants and reseed in a shady area or wait until the weather turns colder.

Some of the radishes have

By Lawrence Sochaski

Some of the radishes have worms in them. What can be put in the soil to stop this problem or can something be sprayed on the plant.

Here are some ideas: Manual:

By Almanac Staff

Here are some ideas:
Manual: Dust plants with diatomaceous earth.
Biological: Rove beetles are predaceous on root maggots.
Chemical: Treat with a registered insecticide. Consult with your local cooperative extension or nursery.
Rotate your crops as best you can; root maggots overwinter in the soil and you want to move the host plants.

When I harvested my radishes

By AmandaDRichardson

When I harvested my radishes they were brown and not red but still white in the center. Why are they brown?

There is a radish variety

By Almanac Staff

There is a radish variety that has brown skin versus red. Otherwise, if they are nice and firm inside, we don't know.

I actually didn't need to ask

By Judy Janchosek

I actually didn't need to ask my question as for others already have. Good answers, thank you very much! I do believe my radishs have too much nitrogen. The seedlings were thinned out and in full sun, they grew fast but not many have nice radish bulbs, but tall and beautiful greens, and now starting to flower. Theones with bulbs are hard and stemmy inside, so what besides commercial fertilizer can I ammend the soil with for more potassium? thanks

Having too high a nitrogen

By Almanac Staff

Having too high a nitrogen content in the soil is the classic issue with radish growing. The most common organic sources of phosphorus include steamed bone meal, rock phosphate, and horse, cattle, or poultry manure. Just keep in mind that natural fertilizers provide relatively low amounts of nutrients, as compared to commercial fertilizer so it's more important to have the right soil from the start. If you use fertilizer, work in about 10 to 15 pounds of 5-10-5 per 1,000 square feet of garden.

can i plant a radish from the

By Brooklyn

can i plant a radish from the produce at a grocery and will it produce any radishes or do i need a package of seeds?

You direct seed radishes.

By Almanac Staff

You direct seed radishes. Make sure they get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight and soil that is low nitrogen and high potassium.

How much potassium do radish

By Hahneul

How much potassium do radish seeds need to grow?

i don't understand. do i need

By Brooklyn

i don't understand. do i need seeds? or how do i get a seed from a radish? Ex I know apples, peaches, tomatoes have seeds but where are radish seeds? i know dumb questions but i'm new to this gardening thing...

You can plant the tops from

By Brittain Harris

You can plant the tops from radishes purchased at the grocery. If kept in full sun, they will flower and produce many seed pods.

Hi, Brooklyn, Ah, we think we

By Almanac Staff

Hi, Brooklyn, Ah, we think we understand what you want to know. You need to go buy a seed packet to start radishes. Buy a variety that is an "early" season radish. Plant a certain number of seeds to eat this season plus some extra that you will not pull out of the ground. Instead, you'll let these extra plants "go to seed." Let them get tall and ugly until they sprout seed "pods." Next, let the seed pods dry on the plant. When the seed pods are dry, pull them off the plant. The pods will last a while. To save the seeds, just break open the radish seed pods. You may need a nutcracker to crack them open. The tiny radish seeds are inside the pods. Save your seeds in a cool, dry place until you are ready to harvest.

Is production one radish per

By Ag85

Is production one radish per plant? I germinated outside of a planter bed but looks like I can plant directly in my planter bed. I'll give that a try and plant more seeds.

Most gardeners grow one root

By Almanac Staff

Most gardeners grow one root per plant. Traditionally, radish seeds are sown directly into garden soils because they mature so quickly.

I'm liking the results from

By Terry Hartz

I'm liking the results from the questions asked by folks, keep up the good work folks, you're very infomative. Thanks much!

Hear Hear! It is wonderful to

By Almanac Staff

Hear Hear! It is wonderful to see the Almanac community sharing tips and advice. With so many Web pages, we editors couldn't do it all and we learn so much from our readers, too!

Radishes are looking when we

By ChrisDelk

Radishes are looking when we pick them but in the fridge they get spongy and sometimes split open after only a couple of days. Whats up with that?
I know the ones i buy from the store are older that that but they stay good in the fridge for close to a week

Keep them in water in a

By Chevylvr85

Keep them in water in a Tupperware bowl with about an inch or so of water. This will prevent them from cracking and also keep them moist and un-squishy! Change the water if you don't eat them after a week, mine keep in water for a few weeks like this.

I planted radishes this year.

By MamawSusan

I planted radishes this year. Can I get seeds from these plants?

You can let the radish form a

By Almanac Staff

You can let the radish form a seed stalk with pods (at this point, the radish itself will not be tasty to eat), and leave them on the plant to dry as long as possible. If necessary, you can pick the maturing seed stalk and hang it up in a cool, dark, dry place to finish drying. The pods will turn brown. Once the pods are fully dry and brown, you can break open the pods (you might need to use a mallet on some of the pods), gather the seeds, and store them in a container in a cool, dark, dry place for up to 4 years. (Note that this method should work fine with an heirloom variety, but if your mother plant was a hybrid, the seeds may not produce offspring with the same features.)

seeds

By Anonymous

How far apart should I plant each seed?

In general, plant radish

By Almanac Staff

In general, plant radish seeds one inch apart. Some varieties will need more space; check the seed packet for recommendations for your particular variety.

Radishes

By Anonymous

How do you know when to harvest? I have the same issue as the previous post I think. Great looking plants, starting to flower, but no bulbous radish. Just thin red "radishy" looking roots.

Just harvest radishes as soon

By Anonymous

Just harvest radishes as soon as they reach the size you like. You may have to experiment. Pull all of them before they get tough and pithy. Trim off the tops and store in plastic bags in the refrigerator.

radishes

By Anonymous

same problem...nice plants..actually they are starting to produce seed heads..? but no bulbs just long red roots..?? can you eat radishe greens?

The entire radish plant is

By Kelsey Fast

The entire radish plant is actually edible! Root, leaves, flowers, and even young seed pods!

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I would say your nitrogen is

By Anonymous

I would say your nitrogen is to high

Also if they are producing

By Anonymous

Also if they are producing seed heads I think they are to old, pick them sooner. And yes you can eat the greens, very healthy. More vitamins in the greens than the bulb.

Yes, radish greens are safe

By Almanac Staff

Yes, radish greens are safe to eat and can be stored separately for up to three days.

Thank you for your interest in the Old Farmer's Almanac and our Web site.

In "normal" conditions, you

By Almanac Staff

In "normal" conditions, you need to check roots often for usable size (when roots are less than 1 inch in diameter) and young. Pick quickly as radishes will not remain edible for long and get spongy. If you have all tops and no bulb, the usual reasons are: 1. seeds are too crowded/lack of thinning, 2. weather too hot for spring-variety radishes.

Radishes

By Anonymous

I planted some radishes this year and over 1/2 of them grew real tall and flowered, without producing a radish! what's up with that?

All tops and no bulbs is

By Almanac Staff

All tops and no bulbs is usually because 1. they were seeded too thickly/not thinned, 2. too hot for a spring variety, or 3. too much shade. Another reason is related to the soil: too much too much nitrogen and too little potassium. Radishes prefer the opposite.

Radishes need to be planted

By Almanac Staff

Radishes need to be planted one inch away from eachother to ensure that there is enough room for the roots to grow.

Also, there's a chance that the soil is to acidic, causing only the leaves to grow. Next year, skip out on the fertilizer or test the pH levels of your soil to know how to properly create a more neutral soil.

Thank you for your interest in the Old Farmer's Almanac and our Web site.

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