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Video: Starting The Season With Radishes
Secrets of growing and using the juicy and tasty root vegetables of the beloved radish vegetable
Radish is one of the most desirable early spring vegetables and is loved by both children and adults. And there is nothing surprising in this, because by spring the body yearned for fresh vegetables, and crispy, juicy and sweet radishes invariably arouse an appetite and a desire to immediately send it to a salad.
But it's not just the taste of this vegetable. Radish is also useful because it contains an impressive amount of vitamin C and almost the entire set of B vitamins (B 9, B 6, B 5, B 3, B 2 and B 1). In addition, it contains minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc), as well as a number of enzymes that enhance metabolism and promote better absorption of protein foods.
From tops to roots
Traditionally, it is customary to use radish for food with its juicy roots, but all parts of this plant are edible and tasty. So, in early spring, when the abundance of various greens and vegetables is still far away, it makes sense to pay attention to its young leaves (while they are still tender), which are very tasty fresh in ordinary salads and can be used to make green cabbage soup.
Radish sprouts are no less tasty and useful - they are good as a vitamin supplement to salads in winter. Getting them is easy, however, for this you need to have your own seed material, but this is not a problem, since radish seeds ripen normally. To obtain seedlings, the seeds are soaked in water for 12 hours, then they are washed and evenly spread on top of a substrate that retains moisture (sphagnum or sawdust) in a low flat pan, lightly sprinkled with a substrate and watered with water (the seeds should always be wet, but should not be covered with water). When the first true leaf appears, the "harvest" is harvested using the whole plants for food (before that they are washed well).
Mysteries of radish agricultural technology
Ideally, radishes should be crispy, juicy, slightly sweet (at least certainly not bitter), tender (no coarse fibers), and not wormy. However, for some reason, such radish does not grow in everyone. There are many reasons for this. On the one hand, radish is not such a simple culture as it seems at first glance, but on the other hand, cruciferous flea and cabbage fly are very partial to it. Therefore, in order to obtain a guaranteed yield of delicious radish, a number of points must be taken into account.
1. Radish prefers to grow on fertile neutral soils - on acidic soils, it is strongly affected by keel and does not yield a crop. Therefore, greenhouses and hotbeds are the best place for early spring planting of radish, and high ridges for summer crops. Why? It's simple - both options involve the use of many organic residues when filling the lower and middle layers of ridges and fertile soil as the top layer. In addition to fertility, radishes are very picky about soil aeration. Therefore, it is required to carry out regular loosening of the ridges, and it is better to mulch the soil around the plants so as not to create unnecessary work for yourself.
2. This culture belongs to extremely light-loving plants, therefore, well-lit areas should be allocated for it, and not sown densely (more often according to the scheme: 5-7x15 cm) - with thickened sowing, the plants shade each other and, bypassing the stage of root crop formation, go to flowering. At the same time, thinning, even operational, usually does not give the desired results, since at the slightest shading, the plants immediately stop growing and no longer form root crops. In greenhouses, single-row sowing is more convenient, when radish seeds are sown along the inner side of the greenhouse in one row at a distance of about 7-8 cm from each other.
3. Radish is a very moisture-loving crop, and at the slightest dryness of the soil, the roots of it stop filling. To reduce the number of watering, it makes sense to resort to mulching and the active use of covering material.
4. By its nature, this culture is sensitive to the length of daylight hours (for a full-fledged filling of root crops, it needs 12 hours of daylight), and old varieties, with lengthening daylight hours, bypass the stage of root crop formation and immediately proceed to flowering. Therefore, for many years it has traditionally been customary to sow radishes only in early spring (April-May) or in the second half of summer (late July - early August). But today on the market, along with varieties recommended for early spring sowing, varieties are also offered that are suitable for growing from spring to autumn - that is, when choosing a sowing time, you need to take into account the characteristics of the selected variety or hybrid.
5. Radish is a very cold-resistant plant. It can tolerate a temporary drop in temperature down to -1 … -2 ° C, and adult plants even up to -3 … -4 ° C. However, prolonged exposure to low temperatures can degrade the quality of root crops. Therefore, early sowing (for example, in the conditions of the Middle Urals - this is approximately in mid-April) is possible only in greenhouses and greenhouses on insulated soil, followed by additional covering of plants with foil or covering material.
Radish is a very early ripening crop - there are even varieties that take 18-21 days to form a crop. Therefore, it makes sense for lovers of this vegetable to sow radishes after a fixed period of time, for example, after 10 days - then theoretically they will be able to have this crop on the table from early spring to late autumn. However, in practice, in the hottest period (July), it is very difficult to ensure a full harvest (although in some regions this is possible), so at this period it is wiser to refuse radish even to the most stubborn admirers of this culture. At the same time, it is more profitable to grow radishes only for consumption in spring and in the first half of summer, and then rely on daikon, which is in no way inferior to radish in taste and gives a more significant harvest.
Separately, it should be noted that radish is very much damaged by cruciferous flea beetles and cabbage fly. Fleas can completely destroy plants even at the germination stage, and the cabbage fly will provide wormy root crops. The various recommended remedies for these pests, in my opinion, are ineffective, time consuming and inconvenient from different points of view. For example, pollination of plants with ash, tobacco dust or various mixtures (dry mustard and ash, ground red pepper and ash) from a cruciferous flea is required to be carried out regularly. Scaring away cabbage flies with celery implies planting this additional crop in greenhouses and greenhouses, which leads to inefficient use of expensive greenhouse areas, etc. In general, I prefer to protect radishes from pests only with a covering material, which will also retain moisture in the soil,and will help plants develop more intensively, and protect against pests.
If the radish fails
Unfortunately, many gardeners are faced with the fact that the sown radish turns out to be far from being as bright and beautiful as presented on the seed bags, and its taste is far from the desired one. The situations here can be different.
For example, small and ugly root crops are formed due to keel damage or when planting densely, when the plants invariably shade each other (this leads to shooters, and, as a result, to ugly and inedible fruits).
Root crops crack due to uneven watering. The fact is that radish refers to plants that react very sharply to the slightest drying out of the soil, and, as a rule, subsequent watering after drying out leads to cracking of root crops. In addition, at the slightest drying out of the soil, the roots stop filling, become coarse and fibrous.
If you are late in harvesting, then the roots will turn out to be cottony and tasteless, and can, in addition, rot. Therefore, you need to remove radishes in a timely manner.
How to clean and save
Harvested radish selectively - only full-fledged root crops, leaving others for further growth. At the same time, individual plants that have gone into color are removed (more often those are still present in the crops) so that they do not shade the radish remaining in the garden bed. It is impossible to be late with the harvesting of radishes, since the plants quickly go into color.
To keep the harvested crop longer, you need to harvest the radish in the morning (when it is still cool), and in the evening, before the intended harvest, it must be watered (not watered radish will be stored poorly and turn out to be flabby). From the collected root crops, the tops are immediately cut off (the roots are left), and then they are quickly washed and dried in the shade in the wind. After that, the roots are sent to the lower compartment of the refrigerator in a slightly opened plastic bag. In this form, the vegetable can be stored for up to 7 days.