How to grow radishes

How to grow radishes is as easy as falling off a bus; teach your kids. It is the single most easy vegetable to grow; you will be enjoying them within a month. There's only one-rule. Do not plant them thickly.

Let's face it some vegetarian meals are deadly dull in taste, particularly if your tongue has been educated from babyhood on sweet stuff, rich French-cuisine or a fat cheese burger. A radish salad recipe is half the answer; it adds a bit of spice to your rabbit food.

Growing radishes and chickpeas first.Radishes and the first chickpea from the garden.

My favourite spicy addition is the radish; partly because I just love red, ever since I watched Pretty Woman (Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, the Queen, could any film be otherwise?) and listened to Lady in Red.

Mind you spicy homemade Dijon mustard is a serious contender to that throne. It too is so easy to make.

And partly because it is the red colour in food that gives protection to the prostate. Every man should guard his nether region from neoplasms; that means tomatoes, watermelon and radishes. The alternative is too ghastly to contemplate; impotence.

This page was last updated by Bernard Preston on 3rd October, 2023.

How to grow radishes

To grow organic vegetables you really must have a love affair with a compost heap. The ground must be prepared with well-rotted humus.

Read here about how I made it; making humus from sticks and old logs or alternatively a compact compost tumbler.

So well-rotted that it just looks like soil. Given time and the right environment, dark and moist, any vegetable matter including old trunks will decay into compost.

Yes, we too will one day be well-rotted compost; dust and ashes. Our bodies that is, the spirit lives on for ever; you can read my take on that at Bernard Preston's lonely road of faith.

This is a big site by the way; to find out about slightly obscure things like tahini, or keeping bees, or lower back pain, use that search function.

Shall we get back to planting radishes? Because they mature so quickly, in 3 to 4 weeks, I always grow them between rows of other veggies. Below you can see where She who must be Obeyed (do you have one of them in your home?) has planted cabbages.

The so-called brassicas take a long time to mature, so whilst she was not looking, I snuck in a row of radish-nutrition.

Were there grumbles? Of course, but when her mouth is full of the nutritional value of radishes, those complaints I can vouch will all cease. Plus, since I water and weed the them, I am saving her work and the cabbages get done too.

Another big advantage is that when she is watering and weeding the cabbages I do not have to fuss with growing radishes. I plant, we both water and weed and the Good Lord gives the growth. Then we both tuck in to ravishingly good food.

"Happiness consists in the full employment of our faculties in some pursuit."

Harriet Martineau

Radish Seeds

Radish seeds are big and robust and they germinate in just a few days with a minimum of fuss. Every single one will give you a radish. No need to soak them or anything like that.

Just use a trowel to make a small trench about half an inch deep, pop the seeds in about two centimetres apart, cover them with a little fine soil, and hey presto in less than a month you will be enjoying the benefits of eating radishes. I just love the crunchy sound, and the bite with our OLIVE GARDEN SALAD recipe.

So, a shallow trench about a centimetre deep.

Here's a little tip. Do not plant too many radish seeds. Rather a row every two or three weeks. Just sneak them in between leeks, lettuces or green beans; where the boss has just been working. Whilst she is not looking. Provided you give her tea in bed in the morning, the earful will not be too bad.

Planting radishes

Planting radishes is a lot of fun for the children; the veggies can be enjoyed within a short time, read a month or so.

How to grow radishes is good place to start the little people.

Consider using a little vermi-compost; researchers have found that it gave the best yield, far better than inorganic ferilization[1]. But for that you will have to learn the wonder of worm farms.

Growing radish

Growing radishes

Growing radishes is a piece of cake. Every seed germinates and within five days or so they'll be up. Can you see the tiny seedlings? Hardy, robust, radish recipes are too hot for the pests, even if you totally neglect them, you will be eating radish nutrition binnenkort as we say in Dutch; within a short time. 

Wow, the cabbages are shooting up too in that compost.

Radish seed germination

How to grow radishes

These seedlings in the graphic below are now 10 days old. In theory we should be eating them in about two weeks, but we had a devastating hail storm last night, oh the joys of gardening, so we wait to see. You can see the cabbages and lettuce that the boss has planted are growing too. My plants will be out, long before her salads are ready. There is many a twist and turn when it comes to how to grow radishes and of course all vegetables.

Radishes at 10 days after planting

Growing radish

Do not plant your radish seeds too thickly, otherwise some of them will only produce tiny half starved bulbs. Spread them out a bit.

I must have been drunk and disorderly the day I snuck these between Helen's leeks. Much too thick.

Growing radishes as an additive to hummus

Radish vitality

Here they are, 4 weeks to the day. To be honest a few more days would have been good,;some are still small. A bad hailstorm set them back; there are always challenges in the garden, and it applies to how to grow radishes too. 

Nevertheless they will have a good effect on the vitality of our family. You either like their bite, or you do not. I do, and I like the effect they have on other foods. Like this hummus which is rather tasteless otherwise. Today I am experimenting a bit; adding a couple Chinese guavas (the purplish fruit in the background) from our garden. That was not a success; the pips nearly broke a tooth. They too are a bit tart, better known for Chinese guava jelly. I wonder what this week's chickpea garbanzo bean dip (hummus) will taste like?


Growing radish too thick

These radishes are like like living in the Randstad in Holland. Cheek by jowl with our neighbours. Rather carefully prick out a few of the seedlings and plant them elsewhere, or the whole crop may come to naught. Like all things in life, even how to grow radishes requires some knowledge and skill.

Riedertuin where we lived with world cup flags.

The view from our bedroom window during the World Cup. Holland is awash with orange flags. Runner's up, helaas. Alas. Rather space your radishes out a bit.

Growing radishes too shallow

Authentic Hummus recipe

Radish health in hummus

Hummus in the making. It takes only 5 minutes.

Dried chickpeas on their own are almost tasteless. (Fresh, green chickpeas - garbanzo beans - are phenomenally sweet and absolutely delish.) I eat dried chickpeas (available year-round) so that I can tuck into the cholesterol food I love and still keep my LDL cholesterol low, and HDL cholesterol high. Comprehendo? About LDLs and HDLs and the Cholesterol Alcohol link.

You have to earn the right to enjoy ice-cream, the crackling on your pork, and buttered gem squash. So we add our chickpeas to mutton stews and into hummus, with the spice of radish nutrition thrown in to give it some bite and flavour.

It only takes 5 minutes to make your own hummus using chickpeas, tahini and olive oil;  and some garlic, radishes and chilies. Something to give it a bit of life; legumes in general have very little flavour.

After oats, chickpeas are number-two in the superfoods for elevated cholesterol. Much better than taking statins, just eat unrefined oats and hummus every day. It's so easy.

These are the foods that mean you can have your butter and eat it. That doesn't apply to cake though; for high and holy days only. Refined cake-flour and sugar are the low road to diabetes and obesity. Rather get your interesting flavours from how to grow radishes.

You will not be able to buy green, fresh chickpeas. At least I have never seen them on sale. You will have to grow your own if you want to savour this delight; but I am afraid I do not recommend it unless you live in a hot and dry summer area.

And have lots of time as they are very labour-intensive; it is easier to get your vegetable protein by growing green beans and peas.

Radishes are mainly fibre, especially the soluble kind so essential for a happy colon, and water in which is dissolved a veritable host of anti-oxidant vitamins and minerals. They are rich in the B group, folate, C, zinc and selenium; and lots of piquant flavour.

It's good stuff, which comes from a knowledge of how to grow radishes, and not from supplements.

Your protection from tumours doesn't come from a bottle of anti-oxidants; get it daily from your food and there's no better place than radishes.

Fibre incidentally is a long chain of sugar molecules known as a polysaccharide; it is the resistant kind of starch, which is not digested in the small intestine, where it would have cause a blood glucose rush, but reaches the colon. There it is fed eagerly on by the bugs, fermenting it into very important short-chain fatty acids.


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It is in a healthy colon where the pathogens that we are exposed to are crowded out by sheer numbers; very interesting research shows that this is where the twisted proteins that cause the neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease emerge from.

Every single person should know about resistant starch; it is also the key to easier weight loss, and the prevention of obesity and type 2 diabetes in the first place. So you see, how to grow radishes is not only about pacifying a tongue's demands for other spicy flavours; it is one small part of a life without medication.

There is no B12 in radishes, by the way; that you get from eggs. Vegans have a problem and need to be very careful not to get pernicious anaemia; it all starts with tingling in arms and hands and legs.


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