I admit that I never even really gave radishes a chance until I started growing them in the garden because I thought the little radishes on a seed packet looked cute. Now I can say that homegrown radishes really do taste 100% better than radishes from the store.
Need more reasons to grow your own radishes? These little roots are the easiest and fastest-growing veggie in town. So, if you’re impatient or you’re just learning how to garden, then radishes are the perfect vegetable to grow.
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My Favorite Radish Types to Grow in Central Texas
- French Breakfast Radishes – These juicy little jewels don’t make you wait long to harvest them—they’re ready in just 28 days! This is the perfect radish variety to tuck in and around the garden, anywhere you have an empty spot.
- Watermelon Radishes – This radish looks like a watermelon when you cut it open and, as you might imagine, is just so fun to grow. This is a bigger radish that will be harvested when it is 2” to 4” wide. With its crunchy, sweet, and mildly peppery flavor, it’s perfect for salads. The flavor only improves as the weather cools down!
- Daikon Mini Purple Radishes – These beautiful violet daikon radishes are perfect for the home grower. They take less time till harvest than traditional daikons, and they have a crunchy flesh with a center sunburst of violet. Their flavor is mild, subtly sweet, but peppery, and the pepper becomes milder when cooked.
When Is Radishes Growing Time in Central Texas?
Radishes grow best in the cool season, when the average highs are around 65 and below.
For those of us in the greater Austin area, that means radishes season is mid-October through mid-March. Since most radishes grow within just one month, you have several opportunities to grow these easy vegetables in your garden. I suggest planting radish seeds every 2-4 weeks throughout the growing season.
5 Things to Know About How Radishes Grow Best
- Plant your radishes in loose soil that’s rich in organic matter. Stay away from high-nitrogen fertilizers to avoid growing lots of beautiful radish greens but measly little roots. I’ve had lots of success with Microlife Super Seaweed.
- Make sure radishes are planted somewhere they can get at least 6 to 8 hours of sun every day. Other than that, just make sure your raised bed or container is at least 6″ deep to give the taproots plenty of room to grow. Radishes do great in containers as long as the moisture level in the soil can be monitored daily.
- Plant radish seeds directly in the soil 2″ to 4″ apart and ½” deep. It’s very important to have proper spacing, or radishes will not grow well. Thin seedlings once they come in so that they’re 3” to 4” apart. If thinned seedlings are gently lifted, you can try to replant them elsewhere in the garden or eat them as radish microgreens!
- Keep soil evenly moist while radishes sprout and grow. If the soil gets too dry, radishes will bolt, or go to seed. If the soil gets too wet, radish roots will split.
- Radishes can handle some frost, but it’s a good idea to cover your radish plants if temps are expected to get below 28 degrees and stay cold for a prolonged period of time. Here is how I protect my garden during frost.
Radishes Harvest Time
Radishes are ready to harvest within 21 to 50 days from planting, depending on the variety you’re growing.
Note the time to harvest on the back of your seed packet, and then when the time is nearing, check the growth of the radish leaves, which tend to mimic the growth of the root. Gently sweep some soil away from the shoulders of one radish to check for root growth. You’ll typically harvest radishes when the roots are about 1″ in diameter at the soil surface (unless you’re growing watermelon radishes). Some radishes tell you they’re ready to harvest by popping their shoulders up from the soil!
Young radishes are fresh and crisp. If you wait too long to harvest your root crop, they can become too peppery and starchy. You can try cooking or pickling them, but they might be inedible at that point.
Don’t forget that radish leaves are also edible and great in salads or stir fries! This is a part of the plant that you typically don’t get to enjoy when you buy radishes from the grocery store, since they don’t save as long.
How to Store Radishes
Remove the radish greens from the taproot. The greens are best enjoyed within 48 hours.
Note: it’s best not to wash the radish roots before storage.
To store the radish roots, dampen a couple of paper towels and use them to line the inside of an airtight storage bag. Place the radishes between the towels, remove any excess air, and seal the bag. Keep the bag in the vegetable drawer of your fridge for a couple of weeks. You’ll get the most crispness if you enjoy them within one week.
Lettuce Help You Grow
That’s pretty much all there is to growing the best radishes you’ve ever had before. Radishes are great space fillers in the garden since they require so little room to grow, and they’ll be ready to harvest within 50 days, some in as little as 28 days!
Which radish variety are you most excited to grow? Let us know in the comments!
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