Radishes are an old and venerable vegetable. They originated in China and spread quickly to Europe and the Mediterranean. Radish ‘China Rose’ is one of the oldest types of radish, it was introduced to Europe by Jesuit missionaries around 1850. This radish was described in an 1886 book on market growing as having ‘firm flesh’ and being ‘excellent for winter use’.
Radish ‘China Rose’ is a traditional winter hardy variety that produces long, tapering roots with attractive rosy pink skins and crisp, pure white flesh. It has a distinctive, slightly pungent taste that adds flavour to winter salads. The leaves can also be added to salads and stir fries.
Its cylindrical roots grow 15 to 20cm (6 to 8in) long, are a deep rose with a white tip. 30 to 50 days to maturity.
The larger varieties are similar to turnips for storing, they will store for two to four weeks in the fridge and can be kept longer or stored in a cool dry area.
Prepare the site:
Radishes prefer regular garden soil, especially soil that was heavily manured in a previous season and allowed to rest. Radishes can handle a little shade, especially if the temperatures are creeping up, but they need several hours of direct sun to fully develop.
Sow indoors from late winter or sow directly from late spring through to early autumn
Radish can be planted from as early as the soil can be worked. Make successive plantings of short rows every 10 to 14 days. Plant in spaces between slow-maturing vegetables (such as broccoli and brussel sprouts) or in areas that will be used later for warm-season crops (peppers, tomatoes and squash).
Sow thinly, 0.5in (1.5cm) deep in rows 9in (25cm) apart.
Keep moist and thin as necessary. Proper thinning focuses the harvest and avoids disappointing stragglers that have taken too long to develop. Slow development makes radishes hot in taste and woody in texture.
Repeat sowings every two to three weeks to ensure a continuous supply. Remember, it is much more economical to sow little and often rather than have a long row of radishes all coming to maturity at the same time.
If you want good-tasting radishes also pay close attention to the watering regimen you provide. Moisture stress can result in the same woody, hot radishes that poor soil conditioning and lack of fertiliser or humus will result in.
Plants will be ready to harvest when they are of usable size and relatively young from 21 days, starting when roots are less than 1 inch in diameter. Radishes remain in edible condition for only a short time before they become pithy (spongy) and hot.
In dry weather the bed should be watered the day before they are pulled. Gently hold the tops twist and lift. Remove the tops by twisting them off with your hands. The tops are very tasty and can be cooked and eaten like spinach.
Save the young thinnings of both summer and winter radishes. They are delicious with tops and bottoms intact. Both summer and winter radishes store well in the refrigerator once the tops have been removed. The radish leaves cause moisture and nutrient loss during storage.
Store greens separately for 2 to 3 days. Refrigerate radishes wrapped in plastic bags for 5 to 7 days. Store roots in dry sand, soil, or peat for winter use.
As with any Brassica member, mustard oils are responsible for the tangy taste of radishes. All varieties are excellent sources of Vitamin C and, ounce for ounce, have about 42% as much as fresh oranges.
Just like carrot tops, radish greens can be used in a variety of dishes, including raw in blended drinks or in salads. Radishes are high in Vitamin C, folate and potassium. They are known to relieve indigestion and flatulence, as well as being a good expectorant.
Radish is a native of China, Japan and all the western parts of Asia. Radish ‘China Rose’ originated in China and spread quickly to Europe and the Mediterranean. Radish ‘China Rose’ is one of the oldest types of radish, it was introduced to Europe by Jesuit missionaries around 1850. This radish was described in an 1886 book on market growing as having ‘firm flesh’ and being ‘excellent for winter use’.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 5 grams Average Seed Count 500 Seeds Seed Form Natural Seeds per gram 100 seeds per gram Common Name Heritage variety. (China, Introduced 1850) Other Common Names Oriental Radish Family Brassicaceae Genus Raphanus Species sativus L var. longipinnatus Cultivar China Rose Hardiness Hardy Biennial Time to Sow Sow indoors from late winter or sow directly from late spring through to early autumn Harvest 55 days