How to grow radishes – A fast and easy crop

When it comes to vegetable gardening, there are so many different types of food to grow. The time needed to grow certain vegetables varies quite a bit. A good garden should have a mix of fast and slow-growing crops. This means that there is a regular occurrence of plants to be harvested throughout the growing season. When it comes to quick-growing vegetables, radishes are by far the most prolific. Whether you live in a warm or cold climate, radishes can have multiple sowings and harvests. This makes them an excellent crop to grow. This guide will teach you how to grow radishes and help you have a successful radish crop this year.

How to grow radishes

Types of radishes

Like most plants, radishes have several varieties to choose from. Which type you grow will depend on your taste as well as your growing zone. They vary growing in size, shape, taste, and color. From the Daikon radish, which is well known and one of the largest varieties, to the Cherry Belle, which are small round and have a crisp flavor. We grow the Cherry Belle type as the seeds are readily available.

Planting radishes

Radishes are incredibly easy to plant. The seeds, often referred to as pods, come either loose in the package or as seed tape. Which way you choose is up to you. I personally find seed tape works best as I know the seeds are already evenly spaced. This also ensures I have clean, straight rows when I plant them. Each type will require a different planting depth and times, so be sure to pay attention to the planting instructions.

The soil should be fairly loose, to allow the radishes to easily grow and form their bulbous roots. You want to make sure the soil will retain good moisture, as radishes don’t like dry conditions. Radishes are quick to sprout, generally needing only 3-4 days from planting to sprout.

Multiple sowings

Because radishes grow so quickly, it is easy to squeeze multiple sowings into a single growing season. Depending on how much you like radishes, you can plant a row every week or two, or you can wait until the first bunch is harvested before planting a second crop.

Just make sure to leave space in your garden is you do plan to do succession planting – where you plant them every week or two. Otherwise, you will need to wait until a row is harvested before planting more due to lack of space.

Do you need to thin radishes?

Many root crops, like carrots, should be thinned as the plants grow. However, radishes seem to be the exception to this rule. Of course, it all depends on the variety that is being grown and the sowing method. With seed tape, the need to thin is reduced. Though if you hand sowed loose seeds, then you very well may need to thin them at least once to provide space for the radishes to properly grow. In the years I have been growing radishes, I have never had to thin them.

Companion plant

Radishes make an excellent companion plant in the garden. Because of their pungent smell, they act as a great insect deterrent. Thus keeping pest insects, such as ants, aphids and tomato hornworms away from other plants in your garden. Radishes grow well with peas, nasturtiums, lettuce and some varieties of parsley. However, avoid placing it near plants from the hyssop or mint family.

Can you grow them in containers?

Yes! Radishes do well in most conditions. Be it containers, raised beds or in-ground gardenings. No matter where you plant radishes they will thrive. The number one rule when growing in containers is to make sure that the container is big enough. You want it to be fairly wide to allow room for the radishes to grow in width without being crowded. Depending on what variety of radish you are growing you may need a fairly deep pot as well.

Harvesting radishes

After about three to four weeks, radishes are ready to harvest. The size of the radish will depend on the variety planted. However, if you wish your radishes to be a bit bigger before harvesting, then wait a few extra days. Just don’t wait too long. If radishes get too large, they often become woody. While still edible, they are less pleasant to eat this way. When harvesting, you can pick an entire row at once or pick a handful every day. This will depend on how quickly you want to harvest and eat them. If you have a radish loving family, then pick them all in one go. However, if you are like us, we only have one radish eater in the house. So, we pick a few each day until the row is gone.

Do you have radishes growing in your garden? What is your favorite radish variety to grow?

18 Comments

  1. Avatar

    I love radishes but I’m the only one in my family who does. I didn’t realize they would do well in containers. I’ll have to try that!

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      Author

      I didn’t know they would until I gave it a try one year. Figured it was worth a shot and it paid off.

    2. Avatar

      Wonderful advice on radishes! I’m excited to try including them in my crops next year

      1. Avatar
        Author

        I’m glad to hear you are going to give them a try. I hope you enjoy growing and eating them.

  2. Avatar

    Thanks for these tips, I grow cherrybelle radishes on my balcony in a planter and I absolutely love them!

    1. Avatar
      Author

      That’s great! Glad to hear you have a balcony garden. Even tiny gardens are important.

  3. Avatar

    I didn’t know that radishes make a great companion plant. I’ve never been a big fan of them, but if they’ll help keep the bugs away, they’re worth a try. I’ll have to incorporate them into my plans for next year. Thanks for sharing!

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      Author

      They definitely keep the bugs away from some other plants. That’s one major reason I grow them in the first place – okay my husband’s love of them is the number one reason, but the benefits of having them in the garden is a major bonus. Definitely make some space here and there for them and they will help your garden out.

  4. Avatar

    OK I’m convinced I need to try radishes in my garden! I like the sound of a 3-4 week growing period. And yours turned out so good! Can’t wait to try these out. 🙂

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Definitely give them a try. Fast growth is a major bonus for sure. If you can find seeds, give them a try this year, it’s not too late to get a harvest or two in.

  5. Avatar

    These look delicious and I didn’t realise radishes grew so fast! Thanks for sharing these tips 🙂 x

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      Author

      I always (when I was younger) thought they would take forever grow like most root vegetables but nope they are the masters of quick growth.

  6. Avatar

    Radishes are actually one of the few root crops that are low carb/high fiber and fit nicely into the Keto diet we follow and yet I have never really tried to grow them. I might have to give them a try and keep these tips in mind!

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Good to know. That sounds like a good incentive for you to give them a try. I would recommend planting them once its cooled down some there. They can take some heat but not a lot.

  7. Avatar

    After my first successful year of growing my own veg we are expanding the patch over autumn ready for the next season and I wanted to try my hand at some salad crops. Radishes sound perfect, I should be able to easily grow some quite easily and the extra tip about them making great companion plants to deter bugs is a huge bonus! thanks for the tip.

    1. Avatar
      Author

      I love hearing that you have plans to expand your garden. I want to expand mine again but didn’t happen this year. Definitely give them a try, they are ridiculously easy to grow and really do a great job keeping pests away.

  8. Avatar

    Great tips! I never thought about growing radishes in containers..I am going to try this!! Thank you!

    1. Avatar
      Author

      I’m glad you will give them a try in containers. It’s a great way to add them here and there in the garden without taking away space from other things.

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