Growing Radishes

Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Radishes

Radishes

radishes at a roadside market

Annette McCarthy

Radishes are a hardy, easy-to-grow root vegetable that can be planted multiple times in a growing season. Here’s how to plant and grow radishes in your garden!

Radish seeds can be planted in both the spring and the fall, but growing should be suspended in the height of summer, when temperatures are typically too hot.

(Hot temperatures may cause radishes to bolt, making them essentially useless.)

Otherwise, radishes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow.

Planting

How to Plant Radishes

  • Like carrots, radish plants are primarily grown for their roots. Though the soil needs to be rich in organic matter, it can not be compacted. If your soil is more clay-like, mix in some sand to loosen it and improve drainage. And till your garden bed to remove any rocks before planting.
  • If your soil isn’t rich in organic matter, incorporate a few inches of aged compost or all-purpose fertilizer (see packaging for amount) into the planting site as soon as the soil is workable.
  • For a spring planting, sow seeds 4-6 weeks before the average date of last frost. See local frost dates here.
  • Directly sow seeds outdoors ½ inch to an inch deep and one inch apart in rows 12 inches apart.
  • Plant in a sunny spot. 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. In other words, only plant radishes in the same spot every third year. This will help prevent diseases from affecting your crop.
  • Plant another round of seeds every 10 days or so—while weather is still cool—for a continuous harvest of radishes in the late spring and early summer.
  • 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. Sow seeds 4–6 weeks before the first fall frost.

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Care

How to Grow Radishes

  • Thin radishes to about two inches apart when the plants are a week old. Crowded plants do not grow well.
  • Consistent, even moisture is key. Keep soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. A drip irrigation system is a great way to achieve this. 
  • Putting a thin layer of mulch around the radishes can help retain moisture in dry conditions.

Pests/Diseases

  • Cabbage Root Maggot
  • Clubroot
  • Weeds: Weeds will quickly crowd out radishes, so keep the bed weed-free.

Harvest/Storage

How and When to Harvest Radishes

  • Radishes will be ready to harvest quite rapidly, as soon as three weeks after planting for some varieties.
  • For most varieties, harvest when roots are approximately 1 inch in diameter at the soil surface. Pull one out and test it before harvesting the rest!
  • Do not leave radishes in the ground long after their mature stage; their condition will deteriorate quickly.
  • Cut the tops and the thin root tail off, 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.

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Recommended Varieties

Wit & Wisdom

Radish seeds have a fairly long shelf life. Don’t be afraid to plant radish seeds that are up to five years old. All may not germinate, but you’ll have plenty that will.

Recipes

Cooking Notes

 

Growing Radishes

Botanical Name

Raphanus sativus

Plant Type Vegetable
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Soil Type Loamy, Sandy
Soil pH Neutral
Bloom Time
Flower Color
Hardiness Zones 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Special Features