One of the most easily grown home garden vegetables. Radish 'Long White Icicle' is a uniform strain which forms long pure snow-white roots. Growing to around 15cm (6in) long, they are the shape of an icicle.
The white flesh is crisp and mild and less pungent than that of the round varieties, they have a spice that warms the tongue, but doesn’t bite back. They add crispness and spice to salads and appetisers and are great with fish and seafood.
Radish 'Long White Icicle' is ready for harvest only about 25 days after planting. It is a spring radish, perfect for folks who want a crop in hand by the time the first robin sings. While radishes are a cool-season crop usually planted in early spring, icicle radishes are more heat tolerant and also suitable for planting in early summer.
Like all radishes, icicle radishes are easy to grow even in a postage-stamp sized garden with well-drained soil and plenty of bright sunlight. Plant a small crop every two weeks to guarantee a continuous harvest.
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. The White Icicle radish is a variety of Daikon root vegetable with a peppery, hot flavour. It's thought to have originated in the Mediterranean region. By 500 B.C. it was cultivated in China.
Much like miniature daikon radishes in appearance, 'White Icicle' radishes are longer, slimmer and taper off. They were introduced to Britain in 1540.
The White Icicle radish was also know as 'Icicle' or 'Pearl Forcing' radish and was called 'new' in Maule’s 1903 seed catalogue.
The 1924 Portland Seed Co. Catalogue says …
“This superb radish is the finest and longest of the very early, pure white varieties. Planted in the spring, is ready for use in 20 to 25 days; their long, slender form and pure, paper-white skin are most attractive when bunched for market. This radish is not only crisp and tender when young but also retains these qualities until the roots attain large size; is excellently adapted for forcing purposes or successive sowing in open ground and gives a continuous supply of tender, crisp radishes for the table or market throughout the season.”
The genus name raphanus, from the Latin raphanus (also raphanos meaning ‘radish’), derives from Ancient Greek ῥάφανος (raphanos), ῥαφανίς (raphanis).
See also rháphys or rhápys meaning ‘turnip’.
The species name sativus is taken from the Latin sativus meaning 'sown’ or 'that which is sown' meaning cultivated. It is found in the binomial names of many domesticated plant species - sativus (masculine), sativum (neuter), or sativa (feminine).
The common name of Radish comes from the Latin word radix which means 'root'.
- 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 1540) Other Common Names Oriental Radish Family Brassicaceae Genus Raphanus Species sativus L var. longipinnatus Cultivar Long White Icicle Synonym Icicle or Pearl Forcing Hardiness Hardy Biennial Time to Sow Sow indoors from late winter or sow directly from late spring through to early autumn Harvest 55 days