Not your average radish, Radish ‘Viola’ is one of the jewels of veg patch. This dramatic, magenta-skinned variety is quick to mature and makes a delightful presentation on the plate. Crunchy and delicious in salads, sandwiches and veggie platters. Resistant to cracking and bolting, it is typically harvested 35 to 40 days after sowing. Harvest when small for best quality.
Radishes are best sown in spring or late summer, maturing when days are shorter, sunlight weaker, and temperatures milder. They are high yielding in limited space and can be grown wherever there is sun and moist, fertile soil, even on the smallest city lot, and are well suited to growing in containers. Plant a row every 2 or 3 weeks for a continuous harvest throughout the season. It is an excellent catch crop throughout the season with exceptional colour and flavour and is easily pulled from the ground due the strong tops.
Radish greens can be used in a variety of dishes, including raw in blended drinks or in salads. Both roots and leaves are also great in a stir fry as well as sautéed. If the plants past optimal root eating age, you can let them flower and enjoy the young mildly spicy seed pods as snack, salad addition or thrown into a stir fry. The delicate flowers are quite beautiful and attract many pollinators.
Prepare the site:
Radishes grow well in almost any soil that is prepared well, is fertilised before planting and has adequate moisture maintained.
Sow indoors from late winter or sow directly from late spring through to early autumn
Radishes 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 fertilizer 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 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 genus name Radish derives from the Latin word radix which means 'root'.
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'
- Additional Information
Packet Size 2.5 grams Average Seed Count 250 Seeds Common Name Globe Radish Family Brassicaceae Genus Raphanus Species sativus Cultivar Viola Spacing Sow thinly, 0.5in (1.5cm) deep in rows 9in (25cm) apart. Time to Sow Sow indoors from late winter or sow directly from late spring through to early autumn Time to Harvest From 21 days, starting when roots are less than 1 inch in diameter