Saturday 30 April 2011


I think that the radish was probably the first vegetable I ever grew. When I was at boarding scool we were each allowed a small patch of ground to cultivate as we wished (very Avant Garde for the 1960s and 70s!). Most of my fellow pupils grew flowers, but I wanted something edible. Radishes grow very quickly, so they could be sown and harvested easily within the space of one school term, and would therefore not need attention during holidays like longer-lived plants.

Today I still grow radishes, usually as a catch crop when a piece of ground is available only for a short period of time. For instance, I have a couple of rows of them in the same bed as my peas and Broad Beans. They were sown at the same time as the beans, but they are reaching maturity now, whereas the beans will not be ready for another couple of months. Radishes, which often germinate in only 3 or 4 days, are also often used to mark the rows of slower-germinating seeds (like my Broad Beans), so that you don't accidentally dig them up when weeding the beds. In my next photo you can see radishes side-by-side with the Broad Beans. A point worth noting is that radishes like moist soil, so you must keep them well watered, otherwise they will bolt.

I enjoy radishes as a general-purpose salad ingredient, but I like them best as a "nibble", served with a cocktail before dinner. We have a little bowl of fine salt in which to dip them.

The trick is to bite off the lower bit of the radish and then dip the remainder in the salt. To facilitate this, we normally leave an inch or so of stalk / leaf on each radish, to act as a handle. Radish leaves are also edible, but I don't find them very attractive, especially when there are so many other nice salad leaves around - they are hairy and can be very tough.

Following the example of fellow bloggers in Japan, I am this year trying for the first time to grow the long white type of radish which we here in the UK call Japanese Radish, or Mooli. I think Mooli is the Hindi name, isn't it? At present, my ones are only tiny, but I'll report on their progress as they develop.

Can anyone give me some ideas for how to use this type of radish?

Finally, (this is for the UK audience only) - don't forget that the "Grow Your Own" show takes place tomorrow (Sunday 1 May) and Monday (2 May) at Loseley Park, near Guildford. Follow this LINK for further details.

P.S. Blowing my own trumpet, as they say... A big THANK YOU to all my readers who helped me to reach a new milestone during April. For the first time ever my blog got over 5000 pageviews in one month.


  1. You have everything so nice and weed free. I really need to get to work on my bigger garden and get the weeds picked out.

  2. Lovely looking radishes looking forward to have a bigger garden.

  3. Lovely looking radishes, you can't beat them for ease and speed from sowing to table, a very underated veg in my opinion.

  4. Congrats on reaching a new level of readership! Job well done. Gorgeous radishes. I'll have to try cutting the stems. Learn something new every day!

  5. Mark the small round radish are cute but I have never have much luck growing them well. I only have not too bad harvest with the long white radish. We are growing Japanese radish (daikon) as well at the moment and they grow so fast. Oh I never knew you can eat fresh radish dip with salt. Hopefully with the new batch of pink radish that I sowed last week will give a decent harvest and I can try dip them in salt.

  6. They look great, although I noticed that you sadly removed the leaves! The young leaves are very good to eat! Try them!


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