Apartment Therapy recently published an article called “How to grow radishes“. It says that radish is the “easiest thing to grow”, which I heard from multiple resources. It seems like growing radishes is simply putting the seed in loose soil and water them frequently. But guess what, this is the first year for me to grow them and I have failed twice – TWICE!
I seeded my first batch indoors when it was still cold outside. I read everywhere that radishes are OK to be planted directly outside in cold weather, since it is a cold weather plant. But I thought hey, why not give it a better chance? Unfortunately, our apartment is facing north and does not get enough sunlight. So almost all of my seedlings did not make it, including radishes. And when I read more gardening tips, it turned out cold weather plants do not just tolerate cold temperature, they simply LIKE cold temperature, So I overprotected them unnecessarily and actually missed the perfect season for my radishes. A rookie mistake!
Mid-April I seeded radish again in our outdoor raised beds. They came out almost the next day and looked really happy. But soon we took a trip for three weeks and our irritation system did not work as well as we hoped – the ground in our raised bed was desert-dry and was as hard as sheetrock (we have heavy clay soil). I immediately started watering the garden and saved most of our crops, but the radishes never recovered. I guess the ground was too hard for the root to expand when they were supposed to do so. By two months I pulled them out and they looked like this:
My sister called them pre-mature$^%$@_@. Sigh.
Well, learning the importance of loose soil, I seeded radishes for the third time this spring into a raised pot. I misted the surface of the soil everyday and thinned them when they got their second pair of leaves – exactly follow what my go-to-source, Gary Pilarchik, showed in his radish growing videos (here, here and here). Now two weeks in, all of the radishes look like this:
I expect the red portion of root to expand any day now. I plant to leave them until 6 weeks old, and start pulling them out one at a time to check on the growth. Hopefully this batch will make its way to my dinner table and become this roasted radish, or this radish salad, or who knows, the star of one of these amazing recipes!