The Best Conditions to Grow Radishes

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Radishes are some of nature's most vitamin-packed vegetables. These tasty and useful cabbage-like roots are high in vitamin C and other important minerals and vitamins. Radishes can be eaten raw as an appetizer, sliced in a salad or as an ingredient in many types of soups. Radishes are very low-maintenance vegetables that are easy to grow.

Growing Quality Radishes

For many gardeners, radishes are not only a vegetable to eat, but they are a tool as well. The plants germinate quickly and mature very fast, and they require very little space to grow. Radishes are often used to mark rows of slower-growing crops, like carrots. They can also loosen up garden soil and attract insects like root maggots away from other cabbage root vegetables in the garden.

Radishes are very easy to grow with properwatering and fertilization. They are best planted in early spring, but successive plantings can occur throughout the entire growing series season. Radishes also do well in containers, window sill boxes, garden beds or even in simple bowls filled with soil.

Radish Growth Planning Considerations

Radishes require rich soil that is loose and moist. A radish grows very quickly--usually in only about 3 to 4 weeks--which allows little opportunity to correct mistakes that are not addressed beforehand.

The plants do best in direct sunlight, but they will go just fine in partly shady areas. If you have a heavy clay soil, you should choose winter radish varieties as these grow better in clay conditions. Regardless of the type of soil you plant in, make sure it contains plenty of humus.

Radish Plant Care

In order to produce radishes with the best taste, pay careful attention to how much water you give. Too much stress from overwatering and moisture will produce the same low-quality crops that will come from poor soil that lacks humus or other nutriens.

Always use a high-quality fertilizer that uses as many organic materials as possible. Avoid fertilizes with too much phosphorus in them as this may result in smaller root sizes. Also, although the growing period is very short, you should attempt to mulch as much as possible for larger and better-tasting vegetables. Finally, do not allow weeds to overrun your radishes.

Radish Pests and Diseases

Radishes are usually resistant to most pests. Part of the reason is because the plant grows and matures so quickly, most diseases don't have a chance to set in. However, root maggots can be a problem for not only radishes, but other cabbage family plants as well. If you live in an area that is susceptible to root maggot infestation, create a collar around the your radishes using anything from carpet or cardboard. This will help prevent root flies from laying eggs that will mature into maggots.

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