Growing Daikon / Radish
How to Grow Daikon / Radish
Radishes are among the easiest and fastest vegetables to grow. There are more than 250 varieties of radishes that gardeners can choose from. They have unique colors, sizes, shapes and flavors. Many of them cannot be found in markets.
Radishes have the Latin name Raphanus sativus. Their sizes vary depending on the variety. The smallest radishes are an inch in diameter, and they can be as big as 8 to 14 inches in length and 2 to 4 inches in diameter. Radish can be round or oblong, and come in white, hot or mild pink, red or bi-colored varieties. It only takes about 25 to 60 days before these radishes can be harvested.
Some of the most common early spring radishes are Cherry Belle, Easter Egg and Early Scarlet Globe. Varieties that are more heat tolerant include the Icicle, French Breakfast and Rat Tailed. Long Black Spanish and China Rose are winter radishes. Growing varieties that can survive in all seasons allows gardeners to harvest all throughout the year. Radishes are great for new gardeners who are in a hurry to harvest their vegetables in a short period of time.
Planting Radishes at Home
Radish is a common ingredient in salads and other recipes. Its juice adds to the recipe’s sweet taste. They can be eaten raw, pickled or cooked. Either way, radish has a lot of health benefits to offer.
Radish contains high level of antioxidants that can help clean harmful free radicals in the blood. This detoxifying effect can greatly reduce bilirubin levels in people who are suffering from conditions that lead to jaundice. Radish can increase the fresh oxygen supply in the blood.
In addition, radish is very rich in roughage. This helps cure constipation and aid in digestion. Radish juice soothes the digestive and excretory system to relieve piles. Another health benefit one can get from radishes is their diuretic effect that is good for the urinary tract. They help clean the kidneys and protect against infection. There are also other studies that link radishes to the prevention and cure of certain forms of cancer, skin disorders, kidney disorders, respiratory disorders, liver and gall bladder problems, fever and insect bites.
With these benefits, everyone has many reasons to plant radishes in their garden. They will not only enjoy the delicious radish dishes. They can also take advantage of the health benefits they offer.
How to Plant Radishes at Home
Homeowners can start planting radish as soon as the garden soil is workable in the spring. The planting site should have at least six hours of sun exposure every day. The best soil for growing radish has a pH of 5.8 to 6.8. It is best that gardeners try different varieties in order to achieve a wide mix of radishes.
What is great about planting radishes is that they can be positioned anywhere. There is no need to allot space for them. They can be planted right next to other vegetables like carrots, beets and parsnips. The harvest time for radishes comes before these vegetables need the space. There are some steps that new gardeners may follow in order to grow radishes successfully and achieve the crisp taste and zing for salads and other delectable dishes.
Radish are best planted in soil with low nitrogen levels. This can significantly affect the radish’s crispness and taste.
Radish seedlings that grow about two inches tall need to be thinned up to three-inch spacing. Otherwise, it will produce inedible roots.
It is essential that the soil’s moisture is retained. This can be made possible with mulch that uses compost with wood ashes. Doing so protects the radish from maggots. Radishes are generally disease-free. Some problems may occur with black roots. If this happens, change the variety and go for round ones.
Root maggots are the worst radish invaders. However, they can be avoided with proper crop rotation. Plant the radish only in beds that have not contained a cole crop in the last three years. Alternatively, mix wood ash in the soil.
Soil should not be left dry all the time because it will make the radish too pungent to eat. However, it should also not be too wet. When this happens, the roots will easily rot. Watering the plant regularly is ideal, but the soil should not be mucky.
One great advantage of planting radish along with other vegetables like pepper and squash is that it can draw pests away from them. Radish has some properties that can protect nearby plants from aphids and other pests.
The best way to know when to harvest the radish is to push back a little soil and make sure there is a grown bulb. Pick it up and taste it. A crisp taste will tell you that they are ready.