Days to Germination: 3-7 days
Germination Temperature: 45°-85°F
After the danger of hard frost has passed, direct sow Radish seed in moderately fertile, well-draining soil in full sunlight. If necessary, amend the soil lightly with organic fertilizer, compost and/or well rotted manure: Overly rich soil may result in too much top growth and not enough Radish. They prefer sunny, cool weather. Direct-sow 1⁄4" deep in rows about 8" apart, tamp down and water lightly. The key to growing crisp, mild Radishes is to keep them well-watered and thinned to 1" to 2" apart once they are 2" tall. Radish thinnings may be tossed into salads~tops and all. Harvest Radishes when they are small and tender for the mildest flavor and most crispy texture. Pull each Radish gently out of the soil. Direct-sow every 7 to 14 days for a steady supply throughout the summer.
Kids and Radishes
Radishes are often suggested as a crop for children because the roots are so quick to mature. Dropping the seeds into the rows and then waiting for them to come up is a great introduction to gardening. It teaches children patience without taxing it too greatly. Thinning the little seedlings after a few weeks is fun too, because they can see the tiny red Radish just starting to form. At harvest time, they're proud of their contribution to the family salad, even if the taste of Radishes might be a bit hot for them. Making it an early spring project will ensure sweeter, less pungent roots. And you'll share in their discovery of the miracle of nature: a miracle that has the power to enthrall at any age.
Cooking Tip: Cooking With Radishes
Red radishes are usually eaten raw, to preserve their color and crispness. But I love to use them in cooked dishes as well. The trick is adding them toward the end of the cooking process. I toss in a handful of sliced Radishes when I’m stir-frying vegetables. I also love the bright color they give to fried rice.