How do I know my radishes are ready?

kelleyp125May 9, 2011

So I planted some radishes on 4/11. The seed packet says they're ready to harvest in 29 days. That's tomorrow, but is there anything I need to look for to tell that they're actually ready to be harvested? I don't want to pick them before they're ready and they're, ya know, underground... Thanks!!!

(Also, I have carrots, but those aren't ready yet)

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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

For spring radishes, you can pick them whenever they are mature, which may or may not be the same as the estimated "days to maturity" on the seed packet. If spring is hotter than average, they can grow faster and be ready earlier.

Just look at where the green leaves come up out of the ground. You should be able to see the top part of the radish pushing itself up out of the ground a little bit. If it looks about the size you expect that specific radish variety to mature to, they should be ready to harvest when they reach that size.

If you can't see any part of the radish sticking up, use your finger or the edge of a trowel to scrape back a little soil right where the leaves stick up out of the ground. You should be able to find your radish under the soil.

If your radish is all leaf and no radish, then that's usually a planting/thinning issue. Radishes won't "radish up" if they are grown too closely to one another, and you need to thin them to the proper spacing while they are very small.

If your radish is big and is cracking, it may be overly mature and have an unpleasant flavor or texture.

The fluctuating temps this spring haven't been the best conditions for radishes as they like consistently cool temps.

We get a second chance with radishes when the weather cools in the fall, and it is a good thing because some years we go from "too cold" to "too hot" almost overnight in the spring which can be rough on plants that need consistently cool weather in order to perform their best, and I'd put this year in that category.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 7:23PM
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soonergrandmom

You know you have a problem when your state has a freeze warning one week and a heat advisory the next.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 9:29PM
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kelleyp125

I'll check them tomorrow, thanks! I think they're supposed to be kindof big? And I didn't thin them out. So this crop may be a dud, it sounds like lol. Oh well, I'll learn :)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 10:17PM
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mulberryknob

Radish seeds are big enough to be planted one...by...one if you can discipline yourself to do it, and so save yourself the trouble of thinning. Or you can stir a package of seed into a qt of sand and plant that way.

For the first year in many, I didn't get decent spring radishes. It was too cool and dry then too wet, then too hot. Just a BAD year for radishes. I'll plant again in the fall. Both the 30 day French Breakfast and the longer Chinese Red Meat.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 10:37PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Carol, Isn't the weather insane this year? I hope this is not a long-term trend. It's like being on a roller coaster, or a see-saw.

My sugar snap peas are just burning up in the heat.

Kelly, Not thinning radishes early enough is a common error. I thin them just a couple of days after they emerge. The failure of radishes to "radish up" is one of the most common cool-season issues you see people asking about.

Depending on how closely you planted, you may get radishes. It just depends on if the original spacing was right for them without thinning, or on whether thinning would have been necessary because they were so close to one another.

One of my favorite radish tricks is to alternate carrot seeds and radishes in a checkerboard pattern. Since my soil tends to crust over and it can be hard for tiny carrot seeds to break through that crust, I let the quick-sprouting radish seeds break the soil crust for the carrot seeds which then emerge a few days later. They may look a little crowded as they start growing, but then you harvest the radishes pretty quickly and the carrots have plenty of space to themselves.

Dawn

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 10:42PM
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soonergrandmom

I must have planted mine at just the right time because I have had plenty. I have been harvesting a couple of dozen every few days to make room to put in peppers. A few are starting to show their age, so it is just about over with the cherry bells. I try to be careful when I plant but I always plant too close. I don't thin and it doesn't seem to matter much for me. Sometimes they are growing very close together and occasionally there is a small one, but it takes too much time to thin. LOL

Kelly, Just for the record, I have never had radishes mature as early as the package says they will. If I add a week then I am usually closer.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 10:50PM
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