Radish is one of the most favorite crops of farmers. It grows in a very short span of time and needs almost zero maintenance. Be it a home garden or a huge mass of land, you can grow radish in all seasons except sweltering heat. The radish root is rich in anti-oxidants and the leaves with Vitamin A, which makes the entire vegetable edible for cooking and eating.
Season: This vegetable can be grown all around the year except in peak summer. Though a cool crop, it can resist mild heat. As the temperature of the atmosphere increases, the root becomes pungent and huge. Radishes always should be small and soft for them to be edible.
Location Constraints: If you are growing radish in a home garden, ensure that the seeds are sown in cool places that receive enough sunlight for the seeds to germinate. Since too much heat is bad, use shades to keep the place cool. If you are sowing radish seeds in summer, move the pots indoors when the temperature is very high. Digging the soil thoroughly helps the root to penetrate deeper. Inorganic moulds can interfere in root growth resulting in misshapen radish roots.
Sunlight: Radishes need very little sunlight making them the best winter crops. Just 4 to 6hours of natural light are enough for germination. But at the same time, continuous cold and damp weather can make the seeds soggy and roots weak.
Spacing: Since radish roots do not occupy much space, they make excellent intercrops. You can grow them along the borders of the garden or in between other crops. Moreover the roots grow downwards, thus limiting their growth space. Making 1inch deep holes for sowing seeds and keeping each seed atleast four inches apart is ideal.
Growth: Once the radish seeds germinate, tiny leaves pop out. Their growth is a clear indication of how good the root grows. Radish gets ready in a span of 25 to 30days depending upon the soil and weather.
Height and Spreading: Radish shoots aren’t usually very tall. They might be only a few centimetres above the land but the root goes very long deep inside. The roots don’t spread except when there is an obstruction in the soil.
Temperature: Ideally, radishes thrive well in winter temperature where the day doesn’t get too hot. If the scale goes beyond 35degrees, you can use shades or move the pots indoors.
Watering: Watering radish seeds regularly boosts germination. Throughout their growth stage, radishes will require water, so ensure you don’t miss watering them. Inadequate amount of water hampers the taste of radish roots. The soil beds should always be moist but not damp or wet. Damp land makes home for root maggots that eat up the entire crop.
Nutrient Management: Once you see tiny leaves on the radish crop, use vermin compost to fertilise the soil. Spread the compost by the sides of the plant for maximum absorption.
Pest Management: Radish is usually a hassle-free crop because it grows quickly and can be harvested immediately. But regular maintenance will keep away pests and maggots that eat up the roots. Just before the harvest time, there are chances of the crop being infested with blight and mildew. Spraying organic pesticides will keep diseases at bay.
Harvesting of radish: After about 25 to 30days, your radish crop gets ready to be harvested. Dampen the soil before picking the roots. That helps in easy lifting without damaging the leaves and roots. Never delay the harvesting process because the roots pithy and become bitter.
Uses and health benefits: Radish is an excellent source of anti-oxidants and it used to treat indigestion, discomfort of the stomach and constipation. Radish soup is very comforting during fevers and cold or cough. The leaves of radish are rich in Vitamin A that improves eyesight and skin.
Additional Information: Radishes can be grown in pots too but if the pots are small, the roots become stunted. Home gardens are always the best for the roots.