Radish Greens

avidchampMay 7, 2009

Does anyone eat radish greens? I finally put on the boots and ventured into the garden today to pick some greens and noticed that my radishes had gone wild. They are split between the ones that made bulbs about golf ball size and others that just made greens. A friend told me that I planted the radishes on the bright moon instead of the dark moon. His explanation is that radishes planted on the dark moon make radishes and those planted on the bright moon make greens. So, are these greens good to eat?

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Yes. We have tried to grow radishes the last three years and never gotten much in the way of actual radishes. However, we have gotten nice greens and added them to our lettuce, collards, spinach for a mixed salad medley.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 12:32PM
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I've never noticed the moon phase having diddly to do with radish bulbing, but two things did: fertilizer in the soil and temperature fluctuations. If you have a lot of fertilizer, especially nitrogen-rich, in the soil, then you'll have a lot of greens and no bulb. If it warms quickly (which really, I don't think it's been that warm), then you have less bulb.

In Minnesota I had a problem where I planted successively in the same spot. First yield was all bulbed. Second was about half and the third was worthless. No fertilizer added, so I attributed it to the heat.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 1:53PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Radish greens are eaten by many people although, depending on variety, some people find the leaves a bit prickly although they can be cooked in soups which softens them up a bit.

If you a getting too much leafy growth, there are several reasons this commonly occurs:

Crowded growing conditions. Radishes should be thinned to the correct in-row spacing within about 2 to 4 days following emergence of the plants from the soil. If you don't thin quickly enough, you won't get fully-formed radishes and you'll get "all greens". People who wait to thin a couple of weeks after the plants emerge from the soil usually get all tops and no "radish". Radishes, by the way, aren't actually the root of the plant but instead are the hypocotyl (the plant part that that you find directly below primary plant leaves but above the root) of the plant and it is important to know that because the hypocotyl of plants can be drastically affected and fail to enlarge if it is crowded in the early days after the leaves emerge.

Low soil pH. Radishes need a pH above 6.0 and grow poorly on low-pH soils.

Insufficient light. Because they are relatively short, they sometimes suffer when nearby plants shade them excessively.

Insufficient moisture. Radishes thrive in moist soil so it is best to water regularly, taking care to water before the top inch of the soil gets completely dry.

Insufficient fertility. Radishes need fertile soil that is loose, loamy and fairly fertile. A lack of fertility will hurt their production. However, they do not grow well on soil that has had a lot of manure added to it just before planting. So, if you add manure to your soil, add it in the fall and then plant radishes in that bed beginning in late winter.

That whole planting by the dark vs. light of the moon is not supported by scientific research.

I've grown radishes for many years and never worried about whether or not I am planting by the light or dark of the moon. I always get a good harvest no matter when I plant, so you'd think if the dark vs. light of the moon mattered, that statistically my crop would fail half the time.


    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 2:12PM
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I must admit, I too have heard to plant radishes during the new moon. My grandfather from Seminole swore by it.


    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 10:18PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


Lots of people swear by lunar gardening and if they think it works, that is great. Maybe it does and maybe it doesn't. I haven't found that it makes a difference in my garden either way.

However, if you plant radishes properly and at the right time, you'll get a great harvest no matter what. Lots of us succession plant by planting a dozen or two radishes weekly (because no one family wants 100 or 150 or 200 radishes all at once) and get a good crop no matter which week the radish seed is planted.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 8:36AM
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