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Growing Radishes & How Long It Takes

Growing radishes is a gratifying endeavor. They are rapid producers of peppery-tasting, edible roots that measure between one and three inches in diameter and length. They are small root vegetables that range in red, white, purple, or pink hues and are easily grown as succession crops due to their rapid maturation period.

Whether you are a novice gardener or a more experienced gardener, their 22 to 60 days to maturity can provide confidence and a quick return for your efforts.

Radishes can be effortlessly tucked in between large vegetables, sown around crops that are just about ready to harvest, grown in containers, and make a fantastic early or late season harvest. Use radishes as crisp and flavorful additions to salads and slaws or cook them up in stir-fried dishes, soups, and stews.

Follow our tips on growing radishes & how long it takes, so you too can bring these delectable vegetables from the garden to the table in a matter of weeks.

radish sprouts growing in the soil

Ideal Soil Composition & pH for Growing Radishes

Be sure to consider soil when growing radishes. Plant radish seeds or transplants in fertile, moist, yet well-draining soil. Amend your soil with well-decomposed compost and rake the area well before planting, removing any rocks or debris before planting. Aim for a pH of 5.8 to 6.8.

Radish Light & Temperature Requirements

Radishes grow optimally in full sun conditions, but they can thrive in partial shade as well. Too much shade will force the plant to produce more leaves than harvestable roots. Radishes are cool-season crops that do not grow well in hot, dry climates. If you reside in a hot region, you’ll have the best success when planting them in early spring and fall or plant in part shade as temperatures climb.

They germinate exceptionally well at low temperatures, even at temperatures that hover around 42 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can get them started with some protection in late winter or early spring in most areas and grow them well into fall.

Mother and child picking radishes

How to Plant Radishes

Radishes can either be directly sown into the garden bed or sown indoors if the weather is extremely cold and adequate protection is not available.

Starting Radish Seeds Indoors

While it is best to sow radish seeds directly into the garden bed so their roots are not disturbed, you can get a jumpstart on the growing season by starting seeds indoors in seed trays. Keep in mind that radishes mature pretty rapidly, so seedlings will be planted outdoors relatively quickly.

  • Sow 3-5 seeds per pod into seed trays filled with premium potting mix.
  • Cover with ½ inch to one inch of fine soil and water in well.
  • Once seedlings emerge and fill out their tiny pots, they can be transplanted into the garden bed. Use care not to disturb the roots when you plant.
  • Dig small holes that are six inches apart and firm each plant into the ground.
  • Water plants in generously as they crave moist soil.
  • Plant a succession crop of radishes every ten days after that for a continuous harvest throughout the growing season.

Growing Radishes From Seed

Growing radishes via direct sow are the best way to produce radishes.

To plant radishes directly into the garden:

  • Sow seeds outdoors 1/2 to 1 inch deep and 1 inch apart in rows that are eight to twelve inches apart.
  • Water in well.
  • After about a week, thin to two to three inches apart as seedlings establish themselves.
  • Plant a succession crop of radishes every ten days after that for a continuous harvest throughout the growing season.
  • Radishes will be ready for harvest reasonably quickly, so be sure to check your variety’s maturation period, so that you are ready to pluck them from the soil.

The Best Way to Water Radishes

Steady, uniform moisture is vital for radishes to grow. Keep soil consistently moist but not soggy.

  • Place a fine layer of mulch around radish plants to help retain moisture.
  • Install a drip irrigation system to keep soil evenly moist.
  • Water at least two to three times per week, depending on the amount of rainfall in your area.
Slices of pink watermelon radish on a wooden table

How To Grow Radishes: Soil Nutrients Needed

Soil that is amended with well-decomposed compost or other organic soil amendments is all that is needed for these fast producing vegetables. When growing radishes successively, rotate planting areas and add compost to planting areas prior to planting.

Common Radish Plant Pests & Diseases

  • Root Maggot– Practice crop rotation and refrain from planting in areas where cole crops have grown. The addition of wood ash as a soil amendment can also help to ward off this garden pest.
  • Flea Beetles– A sharp spray of the hose can help keep these pests at bay. They tend to do some damage by making holes in foliage as they munch on tender leaves.
  • Weeds – Keep the garden well weeded, as weeds can overcrowd and compete with radishes for moisture and space.

How Long do Radishes Take to Grow?

Radishes take between 22 and 60 days to grow, depending on the variety so always check the back of your seed packet to ensure you harvest them at peak maturity.

How & When to Harvest Radishes

Harvest radishes when their taproots emerge from the soil and reach their desired one-to-three-inch size, depending on their variety. To get the most out of your crop of radishes, harvest early based on recommended maturation days and plant successively. If radish plants stay in the ground past their prime, their roots will become woody and very spicey.

  • To remove from the soil, gently wiggle and pull the radish from the base of the leaves, removing the largest radishes first. This will allow those on the smaller side to mature fully in a day or two.
  • Trim the tops and snip the root tails from the radishes. Wash and dry thoroughly and store in the refrigerator.’
  • If you mistakenly waited too long to harvest, consider allowing a few radishes to go to seed. Seeds can be harvested and saved for next season’s planting or even used in salads!

Recommended Radish Varieties to Grow

Radishes come in a wide array of types that range in color, size, and flavor.  Check out some of our favorite varieties of ravishing radishes, so you can incorporate them in some of your favorite dishes!

  • Watermelon’- Fantastic cool-season radish that originated in China and boasts a mild and refreshing taste. It produces white and deep pink flesh and is lovely when paired with other root vegetables such as parsnips, carrots, and turnips. Matures in 60 days
  • Cherry Belle’ – Lovely, lively-flavored, red, heirloom radish variety with a crispy crunch. Matures in 22 days
  • White Icicle’ – Longer-root radish with a deep and tangy flavor and cylindrical white roots. Matures in 30 days
  • French Dressing’ – Another cylindrical radish with white and deep pink flesh. Lovely addition to salads when sliced. Matures in 30 days

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bunch of radishes on wooden table
radishes growing in garden

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