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Growing radishes in home gardens

Quick facts

  • Radishes do best when grown in cooler conditions, and are tolerant of cold weather.
  • Loosen soil before planting at least six inches deep, a foot or more for long types.
  • Plant seeds from April through early May, and again in August.
  • Drought stress can cause the roots to develop poor flavor and tough texture.
  • Harvest garden radishes three to five weeks after planting.
  • Spade underneath the planting to harvest long daikon roots without breaking them.

Garden radishes and daikons 

Radishes come in many sizes, colors, and types. Most familiar are the garden radishes (Raphanus sativus var. radicula). Garden radishes have a spicy flavor and crisp juicy texture. They are good in salads and can stand alone as a snack.

Radishes may be spherical or carrot-shaped, and in a rainbow of colors: green, white, pink, red, purple and yellow. You may plant these small roots in the spring, but you can also grow them as a fall crop.

Home gardeners can also grow the long, white, Asian radish (R. sativus var. longipinnatus), often called daikon, its Japanese name. These roots can grow to large sizes, and are typically less spicy or hot than the garden types. Gardeners often plant them in the late summer for a late fall harvest. You can store them for fresh use for up to two months.

Radishes do best when grown in cooler conditions, and are tolerant of cold weather. You can grow tender, juicy, flavorful radishes if the plants grow quickly without stress. They may develop a flower that goes to seed, develop excessively hot flavor or become woody during the heat of a typical Minnesota summer.  

You should follow seed packet or catalog recommendations for individual varieties.

Soil pH and fertility

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Planting

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How to keep your radishes healthy and productive

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Jill MacKenzie

Reviewed in 2018

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