Help, I can't grow Radishes anymore

diegartenfrau(z8 Eugene/OR)October 17, 2005

Hi,

maybe someone has some tipps for me.

We moved 3 years ago to Eugene,OR. So I am new to Oregon gardening, and probably have lots to learn. This is my 4th different growing climate, after Germany, Southern California, Raleigh, NC and now here.

I used to grow Radishes just fine, even in San Bernardino, CA I didn't have problems growing them, although it got hot early in the season.

First I grew them on the side of the house, which didn't get full sun for the most part of the area, actually lot of the area was somewhat shaded by a huge Magnolia Tree and overhang. But that's where the former owners had a vegetable area.

Didn't have much luck, they got some leaves, sat there and eventually just shot up and made flowers. Never bulbed.

The area got new compost dirt from a local compost supplier, and had regular watering, all on a timer.

Okay, then I moved the Veggie garden this year to a new, huge sunny area, a small part is for a few hours semi shady, because of some trees from a neighbor, but mostly it is nicely sunny. The area not only got new dirt(part good gardensoil mix-part well composted chicken manure) it also has high raised beds (we had to build retaining walls to make a flat garden area), it got again water on a timer, I make my own all organic fertilizer, which I put on before I planted the seeds, and then again more halfway through. I still didn't get any radishes, the few I pulled, were tiny and were bitter/hot.

This is my 3rd year trying to grow them in Oregon, I am ready to give up. Is there some mystery to growing Radishes in Oregon, special conditions I am not aware off.

I see beautiful Radishes on the Farmers market, so I don't understand why they won't even get halfway to the ones the farmers grow.

At least my Salad grew great this year, in fact I never had Lettuce for as long as here. We harvested the last one in End of July, and already are again into Salad.

Any ideas?

Love to learn about my new garden zone

Isa

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sedum_gal(z8, Seattle)

Isa,
I've had the same dang problem with radishes-----and I have no idea what the problem is. I'll be interested in any replies you get...
~Lisa

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 12:05AM
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Mearth(z8PNW B'ham)

Try backing off on the fertilizing, and add sand. I've found that my root crops do best with that combo. I add lots of yummy compost in the fall, then nothing until the first crop is done in the spring. Do yours put on lush top growth? Mine tend to look unimpressive until you pull them.

This year's radishes (1/2 day of sun area) were huge and sweet. The added sand seems to not only let them swell as much as they want, but also drains the water off fast enough that they don't split after a heavy rain.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 11:33AM
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Carol_Ann(5)

Isn't it frustrating when something simple in previous gardens turns out to be a challenge? :) You'll get it figured out!

Next time you're at the farmer's mareket, ask the people who grow the beautiful radishes how they do it. Most people are more than happy to share their knowledge. Don't hesitate to ask more than one grower, either.

Radishes like cool weather so if you're planting them after it really warms up, they won't do as well. They don't like summer heat. Also, my first thought was that you might be heavy on the nitrogen, as mentioned, but radishes are quick growers and like some fertilizer. You mentioned making your own fertilizers but didn't say what you add to the chicken manure (heavy on N) already there. If your additions are heavy on N, you might want to modify what you're doing. Your soil sounds like it should be friable enough for good root formation, but the suggestion for adding sand might help. You mentioned water on a timer -- think about how often that supplies water, and for how long. Once the seed has germinated, you want to really soak the bed well and then let it drain and get nearly dry before the next watering. Frequent, shallow waterings or too much water too often would hinder radish development.

I'm attaching a link for a radish flyer from OSU extension. I don't think it has any information you don't know. In addition to talking to local growers, you might want to contact the extension service and see what they can suggest.

Don't give up! I'm sure it's something simple that can be corrected! Good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: OSU radish growing flyer

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 8:58AM
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weebus(Z8 Sunset 5 WA)

Are you the same Carol who wrote the flyer? Welcome to the PNW. One of the US' best kept secrets eh?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 7:01PM
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Carol_Ann(5)

No, I didn't write the flyer! I didn't even notice the name. That would sort of be tooting my own horn, wouldn't it? :)

Thanks for the welcome. I love it here and can't stop grinning since I moved here (and boy, are my smile muscles getting buff!) :)

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 7:39PM
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suzannesks(z 7 WA.)

Here in WA.state I seed radishes same time I sow pea's around March 1st and I don't sow them deep.And I do agree they are not sun lovers,they like the coolness of the day and evening. And I always get a second round of planting.I have foiund that to much manure burns them so I try and stay away from this and I plant mine in a highly built up rows as not to sogg them out.***Suzanne

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 7:32PM
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maryinpnw(z8 OR)

Eugene has a wonderful Extension Office and an active Master Gardener program. You can call them up and get lots of good info.

Some real neat garden stores and nurseries too. My favorite store for seeds-Down to Earth. They get in lots of interesting stuff.

Grays in Eugene and Springfield are both terrific. A bit spendier than some places, but the plants are usually premium. Lots of other great plant haunts. Check the phone book. This time of year, they have a bit more time to talk and can answer lots of questions.

I'm sorry you're having trouble with radishes. I try to amend the clay soil with lots of compost and plant away.

Wishing you well.

Mary

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 11:48AM
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diegartenfrau(z8 Eugene/OR)

Thanks for giving me some pointers, I think I will try again next spring, it is probably to late to seed them out now, right?

* Posted by: Mearth z8PNW B'ham
. >>Try backing off on the fertilizing, and add sand. I've found that my root crops do best with that combo. I add lots of yummy compost in the fall, then nothing until the first crop is done in the spring. Do yours put on lush top growth? Mine tend to look unimpressive until you pull them.The soil where they grow is really loose and get's good drainage, but I might try to just not fertilize them before I sow the seeds. Not sure how much foliage is lush, they seemed to have a normal amount of foliage. But maybe I just don't remember how much foliage they are supposed to have. It's been a long time since i grew Radishes last. >lol>

>>Posted by: Carol_Ann
Radishes like cool weather so if you're planting them after it really warms up, they won't do as well. They don't like summer heat. Also, my first thought was that you might be heavy on the nitrogen, as mentioned, but radishes are quick growers and like some fertilizer. You mentioned making your own fertilizers but didn't say what you add to the chicken manure (heavy on N) already there. If your additions are heavy on N, you might want to modify what you're doing.I don't think I planted them to late, actually the first ones I planted in late March, when I planted the peas, but they didn't sprout, so I planted again in early April. The chicken compost might be the problem. Also I got the planting soil from Lane Forest products and the more I look at their compost/soil mixes the more I think there is just too much woodpulp in it. That could cause fertility problems, right? I am using the fertilizer mix recommended by Steve Solomons Book 'Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades', I highly recommend the book for people new to the area (I am not through the book yet, but so far I think it has lot's of good info). He says that our areas soil needs lot of lime, because of the rain so he mixes
4 parts seed meal, 1/2 part lime (best to mix equal amounts of agricultural lime and dolomite), 1/2 part phosphate rock or bone meal(steamed or raw), 1/2 part kelp meal.

>>You mentioned water on a timer -- think about how often that supplies water, and for how long. Once the seed has germinated, you want to really soak the bed well and then let it drain and get nearly dry before the next watering. Frequent, shallow waterings or too much water too often would hinder radish development.Because it is a new garden area I wasn't sure how much to water and how long, because it all depended how that new area draines and if the water stays in the soil or dries out quick. I am using a 1/2 gph dripper line, in the beginning, when I planted lots of seeds I set it to water for 25 min. early in the morning and another 25 min in the afternoon. Later in the year, after all seeds had sprouted I watered only once 40 min. every day. Since August I only watered every other day. Maybe that was to much water in the beginning?

Anyway many thanks to the ones who responded with so many pointers. I will try again, next year. You're right eventually they come out right, I shouldn't give up so easy. What kind of Gardener gives up after just 3 years >lolgreetings
Isa

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 6:13PM
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