Radishes are an absolute must for anyone wishing to grow fresh, organic, salad crops. Easy to grow and full of flavour, the range of cultivars available today is so large that there should be at least one variety out there to suit everyone’s taste.
See, they will germinate on tissue paper!
To be fair, radish seed will germinate between a couple of sheets of damp kitchen towel but if you want to get the very best flavour and growth out of this delicious root crop then there are few simple guidelines to follow.

To start with, make sure that the soil conditions are right. All you need it a free-draining and well dug soil down to about 6 inches or so, but it should have no stones or fresh compost in it (although you can add a couple of handfuls of bonemeal which can be worked into each square yard). If you can, try to have this done a month or so before you plant your seed but, to be fair, it won’t make much difference to germination.

Although they like plenty of light, they will require cool conditions to stop them from bolting and coming into seed. While a position that receives full sun is ideal during the spring and autumn/early winter, you should consider sowing your radish crop to a more shaded area during the summer.

Using a rake, prepare a fine tilth - as you would for any seed bed - then make a small dill no more than 1 inch deep. Sow the seed at an approximate rate of 2-3 seeds per inch, then give the seed with a light covering of soil. Now gently water in.

Radish seedlings
You should see the first shoots appear after a couple of weeks, but allow them to grow for a further week before thinning out to 1 seeding per inch. If your radish is not properly thinned at this time then you will have problems with your radish forming good sized ‘bulbs’.

During this time you will also need to keep an eye on weeds as radish plants do not compete well for nutrients.

Make sure that they get a reasonable and regular supply of water otherwise the 'bulbs' can crack if they are left to mature too long. You should be looking to harvesting your radish as soon as they are ready which is around 5 weeks after sowing, but leave them too long and they can loose their crispness and become far too bitter to eat.

To make sure that you have a regular crop of radish throughout the year, continue to sow a fresh batch every two weeks. However you may wish to stop of the height of the summer as the crop will not perform too well with the heat.

For further information on growing food crops from seed click onto:
How to Grow French Beans from Seed?
How to Grow French Beans from Seed
How to Grow Peppers from Seed
How to Grow Plants
How to Grow Potatoes
How to Grow Potatoes
How to Grow Pumpkins from Seed
How to Grow Radishes
How to Grow Rosemary from Cuttings?


Anonymous said...

How can you tell if your seedlings are healthy? Some of mine are tall with few leaves and the others are shorter with many leaves. Which is healthier?

Simon Eade said...

Hello, it's a good question, unfortunately without a photograph it is very difficult to tell as there are many factors that can effect plant growth. These could include light levels, the specific plant variety, nutrition etc. It may even be some obscure problem such as 'plant growth regulators' maybe gibberelic acid. More recently there have been problems with herbicide treated manure. Without evidence to go on it is likely that the shorter one is healthier, but to be fair it is only an educated guess and could easily be the taller one. If you want to send me a couple of photo's then email them to

Anonymous said...

i have radishes in my garden some of them are flowering. where do i get the seeds from so next year i dont have to buy them? is that flower where i need to cut and dry out?? thank you

Ray Domzalski said...

The plant should make a seed pod if I remember correctly. Get the seeds from there!

Ellada said...

Hello, Simon.
In one week, i will eat my first radish.
And bravo for your site, you got a lot of information and I will come back to learn more.

Shirley said...

The radishes I grow are very hot tasting. I use compost in my garden and have tried several different brands and types. What is the problem?