One of the most popular types, and a home garden favourite for decades, Radish ‘Sparkler’ is an attractive, reliable globe variety with very crisp texture and mild peppery flavour. Full of character but easy on spice with shading from brightest scarlet to pure white is dotted with merry flecks.
Radish ‘Sparkler’ is easy to grow, high yielding and quick to harvest, ready in just three weeks it ranges in size from 2 to 4cm (1 to 1½in), with a white root. It can be grown wherever there is sun and moist, fertile soil, even on the smallest city lot.
Sow successively at two week intervals until late-spring and then again in late summer. It can also be grown under glass during the winter months to provide a constant supply of crisp, crunchy roots.
There's no beating this delightful little two-tone jewel for quick harvest, mild peppery bite, and terrific plate appeal.
- Awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit
Radish 'Sparkler' was awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit (AGM) in 1996 which was reconfirmed in trials in 2013.
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.
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.
The radish is an anciently annual or biennial cultivated vegetable. It most likely originated in the area between the Mediterranean and the Caspian Sea. It may come from the wild radish in southwest China. It is possible that radishes were domesticated in both Asia and Europe.
The early domestication of radishes can be traced back to around about 4000 years ago. According to Herodotus (484-424 BC), radish was one of the important crops in ancient Egypt, as radish was depicted on the walls of the Pyramids. Cultivated radish and its uses were reported in China nearly 2000 years ago and in Japan, radishes were known some 1000 years ago.
Evolutionary processes and human selection of preferred types have led to significant variations in size, colour and taste. Among them, small-rooted radishes are grown in temperate regions of the world and harvested throughout the year. Larger-rooted cultivars such as Chinese radish are predominant in East and Southeast Asia.
Today, radishes are an important vegetable that is grown throughout the world. Different local people prefer to use various parts of the radish plants including roots, leaves, sprouts, seed pods and oil from seeds as their food according to their own custom.
The small-rooted and short-season types are cultivated for salads and as fresh vegetable. The large-rooted types are cooked, canned or pickled besides being eaten raw. The leaves and sprouts are used as salad or are cooked, too. The seed pods are cooked for soups in southwest China and Southeast Asia, the seeds are also pressed to extract oil.
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 radish is from Middle English radiche, from Old English rædic, (compare Old French radise or radice), derived from Latin rādīx, or rādīc meaning 'root'
- Awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit
- Additional Information
Packet Size 5 grams Average Seed Count 650 Seeds Seed Form Natural Seeds per gram 130 seeds per gram Common Name Globe Radish Family Brassicaceae Genus Raphanus Species sativus Cultivar Sparkler Time to Sow Sow indoors from late winter or sow directly from late spring through to early autumn Harvest From 21 days