Radishes, which are a member of the brassica family are grown for their crisp, juicy, swollen roots. The small, round, red globes are the best known types but radishes come in a variety of shapes and colours. They are very quick growing but pick them young when the flesh is crisp and juicy as they can get tough and woody as the plants get older. Sow successionally to get crops from April to September. Winter radish can be sown from June and will extend cropping into November. The hotness of radishes comes from compound also found in mustard and horseradish. Radishes contain antioxidants and Vitamin C.
Rudi is a short-leaved variety which matures relatively quickly. Rudi is uniform with good scarlet-red colour and can be used undercover for early and late crops and outside between March and August.
How to grow: Strictly speaking radish should be grown in your brassica rotation but they are useful to pop into any space you have in the garden or sown as a catch crop between slower growing brassicas. Sow seeds direct into the growing site from March until September. Make drills 2 cm deeps and 15 cm apart in well prepared soil and sprinkle the seed in thinly. Water if dry. Germination will take just a few days and they can be ready for harvest in as little as three weeks.
Pests and diseases: Radish can suffer from flea beetle but as they are so quick growing and flea beetle only effects the leaves it is not really a problem.
How to cook: Radish is usually eaten raw in salads. Cut off the root and the leaves at the base of the stem and wash. Use whole or cut as required. Sliced radish is great in potato salad where the hot crispness combines well with the cool potato and mayonnaise. They can also be carved into flowers for a beautiful garnish. There are you tube videos that will show you how to do this.
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