Q&As/Root Vegetables/Radishes

Question

I am having trouble growing radishes. I have tried various places in our garden and several types and brands to no avail. I get top growth but nothing underneath. Some solutions please.

Answer

The radish is one of the first recorded vegetables; in fact, the name radish comes from the Latin “radix” meaning “root”. Many gardeners have experienced the same problem growing radishes, with very healthy leafy top growth and small or non-existent roots.

The best results are achieved when the soil is well cultivated to a fine tilth and is moist without being overly wet. Radishes do not need overly rich soil and prefer a warm, sunny spot with well drained soil. Prepare soil by digging it over and working in small amounts of compost. If your soil is heavy (clay based) you can also add in Daltons Garden Time Planting Mix to help with drainage. If radishes are planted in heavy soils, the roots are often misshapen or non-existent.

Once you have established a suitable environment for your radishes, they will grow very rapidly. As they germinate, thin them out and allow enough room for roots to develop. Harvest them regularly before they become too large and too hot to eat.

Radishes do not require any side dressings of fertiliser. Be careful not to cultivate soil too close to the young radish plant; hand weed only where it is required. Commercial growers obviously experience some difficulties in cultivating radishes as they are never cheap to purchase.

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