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Guide to Growing Radishes

Botanical Name:

Raphanus sativus

Description:

The radish is a root plant belonging to the mustard family. It is usually red, white or purple in color with a round, oval or elongated shape and peppery flavor.

Planting Time:

spring, summer or fall; radishes prefer cool temperatures and cool soil

Exposure:

full sun

Soil:

Warm, loose and well-drained, nutrient-rich soil.

Planting:

Radishes grow rapidly so sow seeds directly into the garden or a summer window box at a depth of 3/4 to 1 inch and 1/2 to 1 inch apart. Thin seedlings to 2 to 4 inches apart depending on variety.

Watering:

Keep soil evenly moist (not wet) to prevent roots from becoming cracked and woody.

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Maintenance:

Radishes require little maintenance due their rapid growth rate. Keep them adequately watered and free from weeds.

Harvesting & Storage:

Harvest radishes from the ground as soon as they reach maturity or the roots will develop a woody, bitter flavor and start to crack. To store, wash away any remaining dirt and cut off tops and root ends. Radishes will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Keep them crisp in water.

Diseases and Pests:

Like other members of the cabbage family, radishes are susceptible to cabbage worms, white butterfly caterpillars and occasionally aphids. Remove worms by hand or with a hose or apply an organic insecticide. Plant them near cucumbers, squash and melons to deter cucumber beetles.

Tips to Success:

The key to growing tasty radishes is cool temperatures and cool soil. Warm weather or warm soil results in small roots with an unpleasant flavor.

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