Thursday, May 29, 2014

How to Grow Radishes in Containers


Radishes are often thought of as being very easy to grow, but some gardeners are a little hesitant to grow any sort of root vegetable. But if you would like to start learning about growing root vegetables, radishes are the perfect first step! Many varieties of radishes are quite small and mature quickly, in as little as three weeks. And they can easily be grown in containers, for those of you that have limited garden space or simply enjoy using containers.



Radishes are best grown in the spring or fall. They prefer cooler temperatures. They can be sown in early spring, even before your last frost date. To grow your radishes, you must first get a suitable container. Window boxes work very well. In the photos below we are using an earth box, which is 29 in long by 14 in wide by 11 in high. We were able to grow 55-60 cherry belle radishes in there. You want to aim for a depth of about 4-6 inches for the container. Make sure the soil you use is loose and drains well. Potting soil works well. Place your container in an area that gets 6+ hours of full sun per day and keep the soil evenly moist. Although radishes are best grown in cooler weather, they can also be grown in the summer. Try to keep your containers in a cooler area and limit the amount of sun they receive to 6-8 hours. 


I like to plant my radishes two inches apart in all directions, placing two seeds in each depression. But make sure to check the spacing on the back of your seed packet. Some varieties may require different spacing. They should be planted 1/4 in down. The seeds should germinate in about a week and will start to grow quickly. After they have germinated, it's time to thin the seedlings. Any areas that have multiple seedlings should be thinned using small scissors. Do not pull the seedlings up, so you don't disturb the nearby developing radishes. Keep the best looking seedlings and thin the others so they are spaced two inches from each other. It is important to thin radishes early. It will help them to grow quickly, and ensure that they form a good size root. Don't throw away the thinnings! They are quite delicious. Simply wash them and use them in a salad or on a sandwich. They are wonderfully spicy and crunchy. I consider them to be a special treat!



As the plants grow, you will see the radishes as they are forming. Once they have a visible bulb, they can be harvested at any time. Your seed packet will also state how large the variety you have planted should be. It's a matter of preference, but I like my radishes on the smaller side. Be sure to not leave them in the ground too long though, as they may begin to get woody. Be sure to not waste the radish greens! They are delicious when sautéed in butter with garlic. Radishes are delicious when eaten raw, sliced in a salad, roasted in the oven, or sautéed on the stove. They are much more versatile than many people realize! 

Here are some containers that are suitable for growing radishes. We used the large earth box, but you can use much smaller containers very successfully! Click the photos for more information.



Do you like to grow radishes? What is your favorite variety or way to prepare them? Share in the comments!

6 comments:

  1. I am planting my radishes outdoors this weekend, so this post was super helpful! I'm growing german giant radish (heirloom) this year. Fingers crossed!

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    1. So glad you found the post helpful! I just adore radishes :)

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  2. I have had good and bad luck with my radishes. This year they came up quickly and the tops looked great but then they became really tall, flowered and no radishes formed! I've tried to plant the seeds again but no luck with them coming up. What do you think I'm doing wrong? I'm in Michigan and it hasn't been terribly hot so I don't think it's a heat thing.

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    1. Does your soil have clay or rocks? Sometimes the soil can be a bit too dense for them. If you're growing them in a container, it could be too hot. Ideally, they like 55 degree soil for germination. But I'd try a different variety! It's possible that the kind you're trying to grow just doesn't do as well in your area. Also, be sure to not give them nitrogen fertilizer, as that encourages the green growth, rather than root production. Hope that helps :)

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  3. my cherybelle radishes haven't grown and it's been more then ten days what have i done wrong
    unhappy

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    1. We grow cherry belles as well! My guess is your soil temperature is a bit too chilly for them. We haven't been able to plant any of our radishes yet this year since it's colder than normal. Make sure they're in the sun, and the soil should heat up along with the outside temperature. If it's pretty warm in your area, it may be that they were planted slightly too deeply or they are not moist enough for germination. Sometimes it just takes longer than usual for them to pop up :)

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