Radishes are incredibly easy to grow, as they tolerate most soil types and are quick to crop (usually within four weeks). They’re delicious eaten raw, offering a fiery burst of flavour to salads. There’s a wide variety of radish cultivars to choose from, ranging from near spherical red-and-white roots, to long, thin white radishes, also known as mooli.
Because radishes are so quick to crop, don’t sow all the seeds in one go, but at weekly intervals, for a successional crop throughout summer.
How to grow radishes
Sow seed on well-prepared soil and thin seedlings to 2.5cm. Keep the ground moist if conditions are dry. Harvest when the radishes are around 2cm in diameter – any larger and they can become woody.
In this clip from Gardeners’ World, Monty Don demonstrates how to sow radishes as a catch crop, while waiting for other crops to grow into the space:
More on growing radishes:
Follow our step-by-step guide to growing radishes from seed, below.
You Will Need
- Radish seeds
- Watering can
Prepare the bed before sowing on a dry day. Break down any large clumps using the back of a fork, and remove any weeds and rake the soil to a fine tilth. Remove lumps of earth and large stones that will hinder the progress of emerging seedlings.
Create a drill using a trowel and a line and reel, or attach a length of string to a cane at either end of the row. Space the seeds according to the instructions on the packet. Sow them individually, rather than pouring directly from the packet.
Lightly cover the seeds with soil and water well using a watering can with the rose attached. Continue watering on a weekly basis if conditions are dry.
Seeds should germinate within 10 days. Thin them out once they’re big enough to handle, leaving 2.5cm between plants. Remove any weeds, which compete with the radishes for water and nutrients, by removing them individually or hoeing between the rows.
Radishes are best eaten when young – if left in the ground they develop a woody texture and bitter flavour. They’re usually ready after four weeks. Scrape away the top layer of soil before you harvest. If the radish is roughly 2cm in diameter, gently pull it from the soil.