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Monday, November 18, 2013

Basic Care for Radishes - Fertilizing, Planting and Tending: And Picking!

Basic Care for Radishes - Fertilizing, Planting and Tending: And Picking!

Radishes are fast growing vegetables that mature between 25 and 40 days. They can be seeded in early spring and they prefer cool weather. Because they mature quickly, you can get several plantings in during the spring. And because they love cool weather, you can plant them again in the fall, in many areas. Radishes tend to flower and don't really form tasty roots during warm weather.

There are many varieties of radishes. Some are round, some are oblong and some have long roots that resemble a carrot's shape. Spacing varies for the seeds but in general it is best to plant radishes in rows of very loose soil, about an inch apart.  You can thin them as directed depending on the variety you plant. Baby radish greens are great in salads when you thin them!

Radishes are grown for the radish not the green leaves. That is important because you don't want to over add nitrogen in the soil. You will get more leaf at the expensive of a nice fat radish. When preparing your radish bed, it is best to use a fertilizer the supplies phosphorous which helps with root growth. Potassium can also be added. I find less nitrogen is better for radishes and root crops. Often you don't need to add any fertilizer just for radishes. Just let them use what is there.

Radishes grow quickly. You don't want to put down 200 radishes seeds at once or you will have a lot radishes to eat the week they mature. Succession planting is a good method for radishes. Just plant a few rows to start and two weeks later plant a few more rows. If you have the right temperatures and things stay cool, you can plant more in another two weeks. You can do this up until it becomes to warm for them. This method lets you harvest radishes over a longer period of time instead of getting them all in one week.

If a radish packet states the variety matures in 25 days that is 25 days after germination not after the seed is planted. Based on weather conditions, they tend to germinate between 5-10 days. Once you see them come up, make sure you maintain even watering on them. Radishes will split if the watering is uneven. You can still eat them but they look a bit strange. Thin out plants that are to close together as you see the radish forming. You can eat them early!

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