How to grow radishes

Growing radishes and chickpeas first.

How to grow radishes is as easy as falling off a bus; teach your kids; it's the single most easy vegetable to grow; you'll be enjoying them within a month.

This page was last updated by Bernard Preston on 26 December, 2018.

By Bernard Preston

Let's face it, some vegetarian food is deadly dull in taste, particularly if your tongue has been educated from babyhood on sweet stuff, or 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.

My favourite spicy addition is the red radish, partly because I just love red, ever since I saw Pretty Woman (Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, the Queen, could any film be otherwise?) and listened to Lady in Red, and partly because it's the red colour in food that gives protection to the prostate gland. Every man should guard his prostate gland from the big C, and that means tomatoes and red radish... the alternative is too ghastly to contemplate. Impotence.

Radishes and the first green chickpea from the garden.

How to grow radishes

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To grow organic (I'm not fanatic about it, and will use fertilizer sometimes, but organic veg are certainly tastier and healthier, even if the production is a bit lower); to grow organic vegetables you really have to have a love affair with a compost heap.

These radish are grown in pure well-rotted compost. 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. Dust to dust, ashes to ashes; yes, we too will one day be well rotted compost. Our bodies that is, the spirit lives for ever; you can read my take on that at Bernard Preston's lonely road of faith. Find it in the navigation bar on your left.

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 the search function in the navigation bar.

Enough, let's 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 two rows of cabbages. The so-called brassicas take a long time to mature, so whilst she wasn't looking, I snuck in a row of radish nutrition.

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

Another big advantage is that when she is watering and weeding the cabbages I don't have to fuss with growing radishes. I plant, she waters and weeds and the Good Lord gives the growth. Then we all tuck into the nutritional value of radishes!

"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 seed 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, you don't need a seed drill!, cover them with a little fine soil, and hey presto in less than a month you'll be enjoying the benefits of eating radishes! I just love the crunchy-crunchy in a salad, and the bite with our OLIVE GARDEN SALAD recipe.
So, a small trench about a centimetre deep.

TIP: Don't plant too many radish seeds. Rather plant a row every two weeks. Just sneak them in between rows of leeks, or lettuces or green beans... where the boss has just planted. Whilst she isn't looking! Provided you give her tea in bed in the morning, the earful won't 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'll 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'll be eating radish nutrition "binnenkort" as we say in Dutch. Within a short time. Soon.

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's 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

Don't 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 Health

Here they are, 4 weeks to the day. To be honest another week would be 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 radishing health effect on our family! You either like their bite, or you don't. I do, and I like the effect they have on other foods. Like this hummus which is rather tasteless otherwise. Today I'm experimenting a bit: adding a couple Chinese guavas (the purplish fruit in the background) from our garden. They too are a bit tart, better know for Chinese guava jelly. I wonder what this week's chickpea garbanzo bean dip (hummus) will taste like?

Update: Don't add a fruit with hard seeds to your hummus; those Chinese guavas in hummus nearly broke a tooth.


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.

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 icecream, and 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. Chickpeas, tahini, parsley, olive oil, garlic... and radishes, chilies, celery... something to give it a bit of life.

After oats, chickpeas are number two in the Superfoods for elevated cholesterol. Much better than taking statins, just eat oats and chickpeas every day. 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 high road to diabetes and obesity. Rather get your interesting flavours from how to grow radishes.

You won't be able to buy green, fresh chickpeas. At least I've never seen them on sale. You'll have to grow your own if you want to savour this delight; but I'm afraid I don't recommend it unless you live in a hot and dry summer area.

And have lots of time as they are very labour intensive; it's 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 anti cancer protection doesn't come from a bottle of anti oxidants; get it daily from your food and there's no better place than radish health.

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

It's 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's 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's one small part of a life without medication.

There's 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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