Would you like to learn how to grow radish in containers? Radishes are helpful for digestive and liver problems, they give cancer protection, and they add zest and peppery spice to recipes and veggie trays. Follow these simple instructions and in no time at all, you will be reaping their health benefits while enjoying their pungent flavors.
Choosing Containers for Growing Radish Plants
Radishes need well-drained soil to thrive, so choose a container with at least four or more drainage holes. You can use sterilized, recycled containers or buy any type of decorative pot that pleases you.
Radishes are light feeders, so any moisture retentive growth medium will work. They like the sun but do not like the heat, so when temperatures soar, move your radishes to a shady place or take them inside. Keep the soil moist, but do not over water for best results.
Growing Radishes from Seed
Radishes germinate easily and quickly from seeds. Soaking the seeds for 24 to 48 hours before planting gets the seeds off to a faster start and is a good way to get seedlings in a hurry. Be sure to try this trick if you are teaching children to garden and want a fast maturing vegetable.
The kids will see the tiny leaves poking through the soil in a reasonably short time especially if you keep the containers in a warm place such as the top of the refrigerator. Radishes are ready to eat and harvest in about 25 to 35 days.
How to Grow Radish
Here is the best method for growing radishes successfully time after time.
- Choose a container with excellent drainage, and scatter some gravel and small rocks in the bottom.
- Fill the container to within one inch of the top with growth medium.
- Using a finger, draw two horizontal rows into the dirt.
- Sow the radish seeds into the row, and then cover them lightly with the soil. Gently pat the soil down.
- Using a fine mist sprayer attachment on a hose or a watering can, water the seeds. Dampen the soil but do not saturate it.
- Check the seeds daily; testing the soil for dryness, and watering as needed.
Harvest the radishes when the colored tops poke through the top of the soil. If you prefer a sweeter radish, harvest the younger, smaller radishes. Older radishes get the hotter and more peppery.
Video: How to Grow Radish
Conventional and Unconventional Radish Seed Choices
There are over 250 different varieties of radishes, but there are only 5 types:
- Red Globe
- White Icicles
- California Mammoth White
Most consumers are probably the most familiar with the round red globes commonly sold in stores throughout the nation. However, radishes can also be oval-shaped or elongated oblongs that remind one of parsnips. If you want to startle dinner guests and add an exceptional burst of color to vegetable trays and salads, consider growing watermelon radishes this year. These radishes have a white exterior but their beauty is showcased in the interior, which is a glorious burst of watermelon color.
Easter Egg Radishes?
Another good way to dress up your vegetable presentations is to plant so called “Easter Egg” blends of radish seeds. Colors may vary depend on where you buy the seeds, but if you opt for the mixture offered by Burpee, you will end up with a crop of radishes with flesh colors of white, pink, scarlet or rose.
Oh, no! Rat-tail Radishes?
Finally, if you really want to confuse your dinner guests and serve a vegetable that is a sure conversation starter, think about growing rat-tail radishes. While the name may not make them sound that delicious, these interesting radishes produce seedpods rather than the traditional radish root. Imagine the discussion around the dinner table when you try to convince folks that these are radishes and not some variety of legumes. In addition to adding them to salads or veggie trays, try adding them to stir fry recipes or pickling them.
Radishes Family Tree and Trivia
Radishes belong to the cruciferous family of vegetables along with broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale and cabbage. Radishes are rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, and calcium. While most people typically eat the root and discard the leaves, the radish greens are an incredible rich source of vitamin C so buy your radishes with the greens still attached if possible.
Scrub the roots well with a vegetable brush and slice, dice or grate them and add to a variety of salads or use them as garnishes. For a crisper taste and crunch, immerse the radishes in cold water for a couple of hours before using them.
Using & Storing Your Radishes
Traditionally, people use radishes in salads and or to garnish food plates or vegetable trays. In fact, you are probably very familiar with the “radish rose,” and most cooks of any skill level can carve up one of these beauties with just a few slices of a knife.
However, because of the increased focus on obesity and healthy eating, many people are using radishes in some unconventional ways. Here is a fun look at some of the unique ways to use radishes in recipes:
- Radish top soup
- Crab salad, chicken salad, potato salad
- Pizza topping
- Grilled radishes
- Radish sandwich
- Baked radish chips
Most people eat radishes out of hand, with or without a sprinkle of salt. Just pluck them from the garden, scrub well, and enjoy. They can be sliced or grated and added to any of the dishes listed above, or to any favorite recipe. Next time you are making a salad, considering washing the radish leaves well, chopping them roughly, and adding them to your salad greens to pump up the overall nutritional value of the salad.
Your radishes will have the longest shelf life and taste the freshest if you store them in the crisper section of the refrigerator.
When you know how to grow radish, you are guaranteed of a steady source of this peppery healthy vegetable. Why not start some growing radishes soon? In fact, container gardening is so much fun and so simple, why not grow basil, lettuce or even cherry tomatoes in containers this year?
Author's own experience