How to Grow Radishes in Your Backyard

How to Grow Radishes in Your Backyard

How to Grow Radishes in Your Backyard

Growing radishes is an easy and rewarding way to add flavor and nutrition to meals with homegrown produce. Here’s how to successfully grow radishes in your backyard:

Selecting the Best Radish Variety

There are many types of radishes to choose from. Popular varieties include:

  • Cherry Belle – Bright red, round radishes with mild flavor. Fast growing.

  • Champion – Large, round, red-skinned radishes with white interiors. Crisp and pungent.

  • Daikon – Mild flavored, long white radishes. Slower growing but produces large roots.

  • Easter Egg – Mix of radishes in shades of red, purple, and white. Offers color variety.

  • French Breakfast – Oblong red radishes with white tips. Mildly pungent.

I prefer growing Cherry Belle radishes because they mature quickly and have a sweet, mild taste perfect for eating raw. Their bright color also makes them fun to grow.

When to Plant

Radishes grow best in cool weather. In most regions, it’s best to plant radishes in early spring as soon as the ground can be worked or in fall about 4-6 weeks before the first expected frost.

Radishes typically take 3-4 weeks to mature from seed to harvest size. Avoid growing radishes in summer when hot temperatures make them bolt and turn pithy.

Preparing the Planting Area

Radishes need loose, well-drained soil to form nice round roots. Here are some tips for preparing the planting area:

  • Loosen soil to a depth of 6-12 inches using a spade or garden fork. Break up large clumps.

  • Remove weeds and debris. Clear the area of any large rocks.

  • Mix in compost to enrich the soil. Compost improves drainage and provides nutrients.

  • Radishes do best in soil with a pH between 5.5-6.8. Test your soil and adjust pH if needed.

  • The planting area should receive full sun for at least 6 hours daily.

Planting and Spacing Radish Seeds

Radishes can be planted directly in the garden or started indoors and transplanted. To plant seeds:

  • Either sow seeds 1/2 inch deep and 1 inch apart in rows spaced 12-15 inches apart. Or broadcast seeds over a wider area at the same depth.

  • Cover seeds lightly with soil and water gently to moisten soil after planting.

  • Thin seedlings when they have 3-4 true leaves so radishes are 2-4 inches apart. Enjoy thinned radishes in salads!

Caring for Growing Radishes

Radishes need consistent moisture and quick growing conditions:

  • Water carefully. Keep soil moist but not saturated while seeds germinate and plants establish. Provide 1 inch of water per week.

  • Apply mulch like straw around plants to retain moisture and reduce weeds.

  • Fertilize 2-3 weeks after planting with a balanced fertilizer following package rates.

  • Weed carefully to reduce competition, especially when plants are young. Avoid disturbing roots.

Identifying Issues

Watch for these potential radish problems and treat as needed:

  • Cracking or misshapen roots – Caused by inconsistent watering or compacted soil. Improve drainage.

  • Pithy roots – Due to hot weather causing bolting. Plant for fall harvest instead.

  • Pest damage – Flea beetles chew holes in leaves. Control with neem oil or row covers.

  • Diseases like fusarium wilt cause yellowing leaves. Avoid planting in same area each year.

Harvesting Timeframe

  • Begin checking radishes 3 weeks after planting.

  • Use a garden fork to loosen soil before pulling radishes.

  • Harvest radishes when roots are 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

  • Pull the entire plant or just individual mature radishes as needed.

  • Enjoy radishes fresh or store unwashed in refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.

With the right variety, soil preparation, and care you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of delicious homegrown radishes. Let me know if you have any other radish growing questions!