Cute, crunchy and peppery, this root vegetable can be sliced into salads and sandwiches for a hit of antioxidants – so what are the basics of growing radishes?
Often overshadowed by other popular root vegetables like potatoes and onions, growing radishes is booming in popularity thanks to the rapid uptick of the veggie patch. Bored and increasingly health conscious, many Australians have taken to growing their own food in record numbers, with the humble radish experiencing somewhat of a renaissance as a result.
In fact, radishes are rich in antioxidants and minerals such as calcium and potassium. Together, these nutrients help lower high blood pressure and reduce the risks linked to heart disease, in addition to radishes also being a good source of natural nitrates that improve blood flow. If you’re now sold on adding these unique plants to your veggie patch, what do gardeners need to know about growing radishes?
A Beginner’s Guide To Growing Radishes
As a member of the Brassicaceae plant family that was originally domesticated in Asia prior to Roman times, radishes are mostly eaten raw as a crunchy salad vegetable, and are known for their pungent flavour. In addition, the young leaves of a radish are delicious in salads, or when cooked in the same fashion as spinach.
Although not everybody’s favourite type of winter vegetable, garden radishes are usually ready for harvest three to five weeks after planting. In addition, hungry green thumbs can pull them any time they reach a usable size, making them a popular addition to veggie patches even once the temperatures start to drop – but what’s the secret to growing the perfect radish?
Light Conditions – Radishes are big fans of full sun, so ensure you pick a planting site that has at least six hours of direct sunlight during the day. If you try to grow radishes in an area that has too much shade, this forces the plant to put all their energy into leaf growth rather than root growth, limiting your odds for a good harvest.
Healthy Soil – Radishes do well in rich, loamy or sandy, well-draining soil, with a slightly acidic to neutral soil pH. The soil must not be heavy or compacted, as the roots won’t grow well in those conditions. Before planting, be sure to properly aerate the soil, and consider adding a plant probiotic like Biotic Booster to encourage the right types of bacteria in the earth.
Watering Requirements – Committing to a regular watering schedule is crucial for growing radishes, as they typically need around 15-20ml of water every week. If your soil gets too dry, this can cause the plant to bolt – or go to seed – and ultimately ruin the taste of your root vegetable. As such, consider adding a layer of mulch to regulate soil moisture levels.
Harvest Time – Growing radishes is a popular winter addition to many veggie patches thanks to the fact that they can take as little as three weeks to grow. They’ll let you know when they’re ready to be harvested when the shoulders of the radish start to rise above the soil line, but don’t wait too long as the flavour and texture can sour.
When planting any vegetables, it’s important to protect them against any unwanted pests or diseases. However, these types of plants often end up on your dinner plate, so avoiding chemical based agents is also just as crucial.
Ultimately, the type of products that you bring into your home can have enormous ramifications, particularly if you share the space with children or pets. As such, adopting naturally derived products instead of chemical based ones is always a good idea to ensure peace of mind – but where do you find them?
Introducing A Safer Way To Spray
Bioweed is an organic, non selective weed killer that works fast on contact with the weed, in order to rapidly desiccate and burn even the most stubborn of plants. It can be used anywhere around the house including garden beds, veggie patches, paths and driveways, and is safe to use around children, animals and even native wildlife.
The best part? Bioweed is the brainchild of well established agricultural leaders Greenpro, and is backed by over twenty years of research and development. Owned and manufactured in Australia, the primary ingredient of Bioweed is actually sustainably sourced pine oil, and is even approved by NASAA, ACO and APVMA for use around organic farms and food production.
If you’re on the hunt for a pet friendly weed killer, or simply want to know more about eliminating weeds safely – check out other tips and tricks in our online advice forum, or contact us for any further queries.