How to grow: Radish

Close up of radish planted in the soil.

Radish is one of the easiest vegetables you can grow and one of the fastest to mature. It can be grown between slower crops such as leeks or brassicas making it useful for the small plot where space is limited.

There are also winter varieties of radish that are usually larger and some are black. They have a very strong flavour, but if cooked this is tempered. These make a useful addition to the veg patch in the leaner months of the year.

Varieties

‘French Breakfast 3’

A classic variety of long red and white roots just perfect for summer salads.

‘Zlata’

An unusual yellow variety with white flesh and oval roots. Ideal for mixing with red radish for great colour.

‘Cherry Belle’

This produces small round all-red roots which are milder than some radish.

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Growing Tips

Sowing/planting

Radish will tolerate a little shade and is ideal for planting close or between larger-leaved veg. They are usually sown direct leaving about 2.5cm (1in) between seeds in rows about 15cm (6in) apart.

Growing closer together helps to keep them small and tender. Winter radish are usually given more space, at least 15cm (6in) between plants.

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Growing on

Water the crop regularly and evenly especially in mid-summer when drought conditions can prevail as this will help prevent the roots from splitting.

Harvest when roots are about the size of a 10 pence piece or less to prevent them from becoming tough.

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Japanese varieties are left until about 13-17cm (5-7in) long and winter varieties are lifted when wanted.

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