by Matt on July 3, 2013
Saturday evening was wonderful radish picking weather. Here is our radish patch. It’s about two square feet, and as you can see quite crowded. The crowding is because we got too busy with all our other spring planting and never got around to thinning out the radishes.
The short grow time required for radishes makes them a really fun crop. It takes about 6 days for the seeds to germinate and then about 25 days of grow time until harvest. This means, if we really stayed on top of the radishes, we could get 4-5 harvests in a growing season. Realistically we can usually get about 3 radish harvests.
Radishes are also really nice because, with the exception of thinning them out, they require very little maintenance. Unfortunately, because we never thinned them, most of our radishes are long thin roots, rather than nice fleshy bulbs.
Harvesting radishes is pretty simple: just grasp the plant where the leaves meet the root and gently pull. It helps if the soil is a slightly damp.
I took the whole bunch inside, washed them, and cut off the leaves and roots. Then stored them in a small tub of sugar water. I prefer short term storage in water to keep them moist. You can also use salt water, dry storage, or canning to save them for later. I have never tried to freeze radishes, but suspect they would hold up well.
Even though I didn’t get to eat very many radishes, the chickens had a wonderful time eating the greens.
We will probably plant again after the July 4th holiday. With the busyness of spring planting behind us, we should be able to thin this crop out and have a much more productful harvest.