Radish

The radish is an edible root vegetable of the family Brassicaceae that was domesticated in Asia prior to Roman times. Radishes are grown and consumed throughout the world, being mostly eaten raw as a crunchy salad vegetable with a pungent flavor. The botanical name of radish is Raphanus sativus.



The common radish is likely of Asian or Mediterranean origin and is cultivated worldwide. Radishes are usually grown as annuals and are harvested before they flower. They are sometimes grown as companion plants.


Table of Contents


Height(Avg)

1 - 3 feet


Width-Circumference (Avg)

1 - 2 feet


Approximate pH

6.5 - 7.0


Types of Radish Varieties


Black Spanish Radish: Black Spanish radishes are very round and have coal-black skins and flesh that is pure white in color.


Cherry Belle Radish: The Cherry Belle radish is the round, red type often found in grocery stores, and it is a perfect addition to salads and many other dishes.


China Rose Radish: China Rose is one of the oldest types of radishes and is also very hardy. It has roots that get up to five inches in length and it has a nice rose color. It is also easy to grow and does best in mild climates.


Chinese Green Luobo Radish: These radishes are also called Qinluobo radishes, and they are an heirloom variety with lime-green skin and lime-green flesh.


Chinese Red Meat Radish: This type of radish has a whitish-green skin and red flesh, and it gets up to roughly four inches in diameter. It is crispy and sweet and goes great in both stir-fry dishes and various types of salads.


Chinese Shawo Fruit Radish: The thing that makes this radish unique is its bright-green color, which you can find both inside and outside of the radish. They originated in North China and are often sliced thin and served at tea parties in places such as Beijing. They are a beautiful green color and tasty as well.


Crimson Giant Radish: With an average diameter of 1.5 inches, the Crimson Giant radish is bright red in color and can average over six inches in height. They mature in roughly 30 days and have a mild crispy taste and globe-shaped roots.


Daikon Long White Radish: There is a reason for the name given to this radish because it can get up to 18 inches in length and three inches in diameter. Although usually cooked, Daikon Long White radishes are also excellent eaten raw and placed in salads, and their look can resemble a whitish-colored eggplant.


De 18 Jours Radish: In less than three weeks, you can harvest these abundant types of radishes because they mature in roughly 18 days. They are round to cylindrical in shape and are red with white tips. Their taste is juicy and their texture is crispy, and they are easy to grow in most locations.


Early Scarlet Gold Radish: This type of radish has red skin, white flesh, and a tender and juicy flavor. Early Scarlet Gold is an heirloom variety with a round shape and a very crispy texture.


Easter Egg Radish: Easter Egg radishes come in a variety of colors, including pink, red, white, or purple, and it looks and tastes best when it’s cut very thin and added to dishes such as salads. They look just as good as they taste.


Fire and Ice Radish: This radish is oblong shaped and has a bright red top half and white bottom half. They are sweet, but mild and have a delicate texture and flavor.


French Breakfast Radish: The French Breakfast radish has an extra crunchy and mild flavor. They also have a slightly pungent flavor and can be eaten either raw or cooked, and they are red and white in color.


French Dressing Radish: French Dressing radishes are long and wide, roughly two inches in length and ¾ inch in width. It is a red radish with a white tip, and its flesh is pure white in color. It is zesty and peppery in flavor, and it is ready to be harvested in roughly 24 days.


German Giant Radish: With bright-red skin and snow-white flesh, this type of radish is mild and crispy, and it matures in 30 days. It can also get up to 14 inches in length, and its shape is cylindrical and somewhat oblong. It often looks similar to a carrot and has a slightly pungent flavor.


Giant of Sicily Radish: These radishes get up to two inches in diameter and have a bright-red color and delicious taste. An heirloom variety of Italy, the Giant of Sicily is easy to grow and matures very early.


Green Meat Radish: Also called the Misato Green radish, this type of radish is green both inside and out, and it has a mild flesh, but skin that is uniquely spicy in taste.


Horseradish: Although some people do not realize it, horseradish is a type of radish, and it is pungent and bright, without the bitter aftertaste that is sometimes found when you buy horseradish in a jar. Horseradish is harvested in the fall and can be stored all winter long, and it spices up a variety of meat dishes and stews.


Malaga Radish: This radish has very round roots and a deep-purple color. They mature in roughly 35 days, and they have a firm, crisp texture. They also have a contrasting white flesh, and they are both easy to grow and flavorful.


Perfecto Radish: This type of radish has a sharp, pepper-like taste and matures in roughly 30 days. They have a bright-red skin and flesh that is white, and they are crispy, sweet, and mild all at the same time.


Philadelphia White Box Radish: This is an heirloom variety that dates back to the late 1800s, and they have beige skin and white flesh. They usually reach the size of golf balls, and their taste is both mild and crispy. They also mature early, in roughly 30 days, and people love them.


Pink Beauty Radish: The Pink Beauty radish is fairly rare but has beautiful rose-pink skin and a crispy and yummy sweet taste. A unique variety of radish, the Pink Beauty matures in less than 30 days.


Purple Plum Radish: With deep-purple skin and bright-white flesh, this type of radish is as attractive as it is tasty and sweet. It matures in roughly 28 days and is very easy to grow. It also gets to approximately 1.5 inches in diameter and has flesh that doesn’t get pithy.


Red Emperor Hybrid Radish: The Red Emperor Hybrid radish has bright-red skin and a bright-white interior, and they mature in roughly 30 days. Their taste is mild and crispy and has a slight pepper-like flavor as well.


Sakurajima Mammoth Radish: This type of radish has a wonderfully sweet and mild flavor, and it is also one of the biggest radishes in existence. In fact, the Sakurajima Mammoth radish is known to weigh up to 100 pounds when it’s fully mature, making it quite an eye-catching and tasty vegetable.


Saxa 2 Radish: This is a European variety of radish and is both attractive and productive. Maturing in just 18 days, the Saxa 2 radish is smooth and round, bright red in color, and it is crispy and delicious.


Sichuan Red Beauty Radish: Completely red both inside and out, this type of radish is perfect for salads and for pickling purposes, and it is easy to grow, especially if you live in a cool climate. It is a long, slender radish with a sweet taste and lots of vitamins and antioxidants.


Singara Rat’s Tail Radish: Instead of an edible root like most radishes, this radish has bean-like seed pods which are edible. They are a delicacy in places such as India, and they have been known to grow up to 14 inches in length. They are easy to grow and, therefore, recommended for beginning gardeners, and they offer both taste and uniqueness.


Sparkler Radish: Sparkler radishes are very round and all white on the inside. The outside of the radish is red with a white tip, making for a very unique looking and tasty vegetable.


Summer Cross Hybrid Radish: These radishes look more like a long carrot. They get up to 12 inches in length and they are white on both the outside and the inside. They are an Asian variety that matures in roughly 45 days, and they are crispy and mild in taste.


Watermelon Radish: Watermelon radishes are an heirloom variety and have white skin and reddish-purple flesh. With a slightly pepper-like taste, the Watermelon radish grows to the size of a small watermelon, roughly the size of a baseball.


White Beauty Radish: This type of radish is small and white in color both inside and out. It is very round and has a juicy, sweet flavor.


White Globe Hailstone Radish: These radishes are white on both the inside and outside of the vegetable. Their taste is both mild and spicy, making them very versatile indeed.

White Icicle Radish: The White Icicle radish is a large vegetable, getting up to eight inches in length, and it has a very pungent flavor and bright white color.


Zlata Radish: The word zlada means “gold” in Russian, and that’s what color these radishes are. They are silky and a bit on the spicy side and they are very easy to grow, usually maturing in roughly 30 days.



Planting Radish


Plant radishes in a sunny spot. If radishes are planted in too much shade, or even where neighboring vegetable plants shade them, they will put all their energy into producing larger leaves.

  • Till your garden bed to remove any rocks or dirt clods before planting.

  • Like carrots, radish plants are primarily grown for their roots. Though the soil needs to be rich in organic matter, it should not be compacted. If your soil is more clay-like, mix in some compost to loosen it and improve drainage.

  • Practice 3-year crop rotation. In other words, only plant radishes in the same spot every third year. This will help prevent diseases from affecting your crop.

When to Plant Radishes

  • For a spring planting, sow seeds 4 to 6 weeks before the average date of your last spring frost. See local frost dates here.

  • Fall planting is also possible with radishes. You can plant radishes later than any other root crop in late summer or early fall and still get a harvest. Sow seeds 4 to 6 weeks before the first fall frost.

How to Plant Radishes

  • Radishes do best in soil rich in organic matter. Incorporate a few inches of aged compost or apply all-purpose fertilizer (see packaging for amount) into the planting site as soon as the soil is workable.

  • Radish seeds have a fairly long shelf life. Don’t be afraid to plant radish seeds that are up to 5 years old. All may not germinate, but you’ll have plenty that will.

  • It’s best to sow radish seeds directly in the garden so as not to disturb their roots. Directly sow seeds outdoors ½ to 1 inch deep and 1 inch apart in rows 12 inches apart.

  • Sow another round of seeds every 10 days or so while weather is still cool for a continuous harvest of radishes in the late spring and early summer.


Growing Radish


Crowded plants do not grow well. Thin radishes to about 2 inches apart when the plants are a week old by snipping the greens at the soil line. The thinnings are edible, so add to a salad.


If thinning have been carefully pulled with roots, leaves, and stems intact, replant them. Transplants might be a bit stressed, but they should recover.

  • Weed regularly to reduce competition to radishes.

  • Consistent, even moisture is key. Keep soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. A drip irrigation system is a great way to achieve this.

  • Putting a thin layer of mulch around the radishes can help retain moisture in dry conditions.


Harvesting


Radishes will be ready to harvest quite rapidly, as soon as 3 weeks after planting for some varieties. For most varieties, harvest when roots are approximately 1 inch in diameter at the soil surface. Pull one out and test it before harvesting the rest. Do not leave radishes in the ground long after their mature stage. Their condition will deteriorate quickly.

Winter radishes keep in the ground for a few weeks after they mature, if the weather is cool. Finish the harvest before frost.

How to Store Radishes

  • Cut off the tops and the thin root tail, wash the radishes, and dry them thoroughly. Store in plastic bags in the refrigerator.

  • Radish greens can be stored separately for up to 3 days.


Radish Pests and Diseases


Radish Pests: Radishes can be attacked by aphids and root maggots. Pinch out infested foliage. Usually, radishes grow so quickly that pests are not a problem.


Radish Diseases: Radishes have no serious disease problems.


Benefits of Radish


Radish Prevents Cancer


Radish contains glucosinolates, which are sulfur-containing compounds found in cruciferous vegetables.


These compounds protect your cells from the genetic mutations that can cause cancer. They may also help eliminate cells that have the potential to grow into cancerous cells in the future.


Radish Supports Digestion


Eating enough fibre each day (25 g for a woman, and 30-38 g for a man) can prevent constipation, acid reflux and digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome. Radishes contain a good amount of fibre at 1.9 g per 116 g of vegetables. Consuming a serving of radishes each day will provide the fibre you need to ensure a fully functioning digestive system.


Radishes may also help gastric ulcers by reinforcing the stomach lining and protecting other tissues in the gut.


Radish Helps to Fight Fungus


Candida albicans is one of the most common fungi found in the human body. It’s also one of the hardest to fight off. An overgrowth of Candida albicans can cause vaginal infections and oral infections. Radish contains an antifungal compound, RsAFP2 that has been proven effective against strains of Candida bacteria.


Radish Prevents Diabetes


Consuming radish can help regulate blood sugar and prevent the on-set of diabetes type 2. This vegetable contains anti-diabetic properties that can enhance immune system function, improve glucose uptake and lower blood sugar.


Adiponectin is a hormone that is involved in the reduction of glucose levels in the blood. Radishes contain compounds that regulate adiponectin and other hormones that play a role in regulating glucose homeostasis.


Radish Improves Skin


Not only is radish extremely hydrating, but the vegetable also contains high levels of vitamin C, a vitamin known to be very beneficial for the skin. Vitamin C improves elasticity of the skin by helping to form collagen, a nutrient that makes up the structure of the skin, bones and other connective tissue.


In addition to that, it fights against free radicals and provides a boost of UV protection for the skin. The folate in radishes reduces oxidative damage and the vitamin B6 can reduce stress that prevent breakouts and premature aging.


Very Hydrating


Staying hydrated is important to keep your body functioning optimally. A lack of hydration can cause poor skin appearance, headaches, frequent illness, and sugar cravings. Radishes have a very high water content, 93.5 g per every 100 g! That’s almost on par with a cucumber which is 95.2 g per 100 g.


Incorporating radishes into your everyday meals along with drinking the recommended amount of water per day will ensure you’re getting the hydration you need.


Radish Supports Heart Health


Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid with antioxidant effects that can be particularly helpful in supporting heart health.


Anthocyanins are present in radishes, which give round radishes their red color. Foods high in anthocyanins, like radishes have been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. These foods also have an effect on cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels and blood pressure.


Radish Lowers Blood Pressure


Potassium has regulating properties that can balance out fluids in the body. Potassium has a very positive effect on blood pressure and can effectively bring the blood pressure down to a normal level through the function of the kidneys.


Radishes contain moderately high levels of potassium and can help in balancing blood pressure for those with hypertension. In addition to this, radishes, through the synthesis of collagen can strengthen the blood vessel walls and lower the risk of atherosclerosis.


Radish Enhances Immune Function


The vitamin C in radishes can improve the skin, but is also a vital nutrient in supporting the immune system and for tissue growth and repair.


Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help ward away illnesses such as the flu or the common cold. It can also prevent more serious diseases such as heart disease and certain types of cancers.


Uses


Radishes are used for food, for medicinal purposes, and in industry for their oil.


Radishes (the root) are rich in ascorbic acid, folic acid, and potassium. They are a good source of vitamin B6, riboflavin, magnesium, copper, and calcium. They are low in calories. One cup of sliced red radish bulbs provides approximately 20 calories or less, coming largely from carbohydrates, making radishes, relative to their size, a very filling food for their caloric value.


The most popular part for eating is the napiform taproot, although the entire plant is edible and the tops can be used as a leaf vegetable. The bulb of the radish is usually eaten raw, most often in salads, but tougher specimens can be steamed. The raw flesh has a crisp texture and a pungent, peppery flavor, caused by chewing glucosinolates and the enzyme myrosinase in the radish, that, when brought together form allyl isothiocyanates, also present in mustard, horseradish and wasabi. Radishes can be made more crisp by soaking in icewater for a couple of hours.


Radishes are suggested as an alternative treatment for a variety of ailments including whooping cough, cancer, coughs, gastric discomfort, liver problems, constipation, dyspepsia, gallbladder problems, arthritis, gallstones, kidney stones, and intestinal parasites.


The seeds of the Raphanus sativus species can be pressed to extract seed oil. Wild radish seeds contain up to 48 percent oil content, and while not suitable for human consumption the oil has promise as a source of biofuel. The oilseed radish grows well in cool climates.

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