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Radish Conveyor
Radish Conveyor

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How to shoot high yields of radishes from spring to fall

growing radish
growing radish

Crispy radish is one of the most desirable and sought after salad vegetables. They love radish primarily for its exceptional taste, but the undoubted usefulness of this vegetable plays an important role.

Radish - a storehouse of vitamins

For example, 100 g of radishes, according to the USDA Nutrient database, the US National Agricultural Library, will easily satisfy a quarter of the daily need for vitamin C, and this is, on average, just a bunch of 4-5 radishes. Radishes contain almost the entire set of B vitamins (B9, B6, B5, B3, B2 and B1), minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc), as well as a number of enzymes that enhance metabolism and promote better assimilation of protein foods.

And it's not even just the vitamin and mineral composition of this culture. Just one kind of fresh radish served to the table - round, red, with a specially left young leaf - stimulates the appetite and thereby enhances the secretion of gastric juice and, accordingly, improves the digestibility of food.

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It is also worth noting that young radishes use everything from tops to roots, since in early spring, in the absence of an abundance of greenery, young radish leaves (while they are still tender and devoid of pubescence) are very tasty in fresh in ordinary salads and can be used in the preparation of green cabbage soup. Later, the assortment of various greens becomes much richer, but radish roots are still very, very desirable for many.

Therefore, it is not surprising that now radish is present on supermarket shelves almost all year round. Outside of the usual "radish" season, this vegetable is imported - mainly from Holland and Israel. The prices are appropriate and, for example, in December they already reach 110-120 rubles per 1 kg, which is impressive. So, it is good for amateur vegetable growers to extend the season of consumption of their own radishes as much as possible, especially since today there are varieties suitable for growing not only in early spring, but also practically throughout the season.

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Biological features of radish

growing radish
growing radish

Radish is a type of radish, but its roots differ from radish not only in size, shape and color, but also in a more delicate, slightly pungent taste. Its roots are usually 3/4 buried in the soil, and their weight in the phase of economic ripeness is 13-30 g; there are also varieties with larger roots reaching 100 g.

The color of root crops in most varieties is red or pink, there are varieties with pink red roots with a white tip and even raspberry, yellow, purple and white color. The forms of the vegetable do not differ in variety - varieties with round roots are more common, less often with cylindrical ones.

Radish belongs to cold-resistant plants. Theoretically, seedlings can tolerate a short-term drop in temperature to -1 … -2 ° C, and adult plants - to -3 … -4 ° C. However, it is desirable to prevent prolonged exposure to low temperatures, since it leads to a noticeable deterioration in the quality of root crops.

Radish seeds germinate at a temperature of + 5 … + 6 ° C - in this case, seedlings appear in about 10 days. At the same time, + 18 … + 20 ° C is considered a more favorable temperature for seed germination, then the radish will sprout in 5-6 days. In the future, it is desirable to maintain the temperature + 16 … + 18 ° C during the day and + 8 … + 10 ° C at night. Daytime temperatures above + 20 ° C are undesirable, as they provoke flowering of plants.

By its very nature, this culture is sensitive to the length of daylight hours. For a full-fledged filling of root crops, she needs 12 hours of daylight. With lengthening daylight hours, old varieties bypass the stage of root formation and immediately proceed to flowering. Therefore, it was traditionally customary to sow radishes only in early spring (April-May) or in the second half of summer (late July - early August). Meanwhile, today on the market, along with varieties recommended for early spring sowing, there are also varieties suitable for growing from spring to autumn.

Radish prefers to grow on loose fertile neutral soils - on acidic soils, it is strongly affected by the keel and, in fact, does not give a harvest, since plants diseased with the keel form rough, twisted, small and completely inedible root crops. Radishes also do not like clay soils - they tie root crops badly, and the taste of the pulp turns out to be mediocre. As for organic fertilizers in the form of manure and poultry droppings, they can only be applied under the previous crop, but the humus will never harm radish.

The culture is also responsive to mineral fertilizers, therefore, before sowing, the ridges should be sprinkled with complex mineral fertilizers. Due to the risk of keel injury (which applies to all cruciferous plants), planting on acidic soils is completely unacceptable - the soil should be limed in advance, and when sowing, you should not spare ash, from the introduction of which the taste of radish only benefits.

Like all other cruciferous plants, radishes are very photophilous and do not form root crops with a lack of lighting. Therefore, well-lit areas should be allocated under it and sown not densely, since in the case of thickened sowing, the plants will shade each other, which usually leads to shooting. Moreover, even operative thinning sometimes does not give the desired results, since the shaded plants immediately stop their growth and are rebuilt for flowering. Radish belongs to extremely moisture-loving crops - at the slightest dryness of the soil, the roots stop filling, become coarse, fibrous and crack.

North radish

growing radish
growing radish

Radish is picky about observing the optimal feeding area, its thickened crops do not give a normal yield. The optimal sowing scheme is determined by a specific variety, more precisely, by the size of the leaf rosette it forms and the shape of the root crop. In most varieties, seeds are sown at a distance of 5-7 cm, and the rows are placed at a distance of 15 cm from each other, however, there are varieties that can be sown a little denser, for example, according to the scheme: 7x7 cm. Seeds are sown to a depth of 1-2 cm.

You can grow radishes both indoors and outdoors. For amateur gardeners, it is more reasonable to get an early harvest in greenhouses or greenhouses before planting the main crops in them, and then growing subsequent crops in the open field. It is worth noting that it is easier to get a high-quality harvest of radish indoors than outdoors. There are two reasons for this state of affairs: first, on an open ridge, more frequent watering and loosening will be required than in a greenhouse protected from the winds or in a greenhouse; secondly, in the closed ground in early spring, plants are less damaged by pests than in the open ground, which is more than important for radishes.

Since in early spring in the greenhouse, along with radishes, many other crops are sown or planted - cabbage and annual seedlings, various green crops, it is best to sow radish seeds along the inner side of the greenhouse in one row at a distance of 5-7 cm from each other.

The timing of the first sowing depends on the climatic zone and how early the spring was. Usually, radishes can be sown in biofuel-heated greenhouses around early - mid-April, and in open ground - in late April - early May. To obtain a very early harvest, sowing with pre-wetted seeds is possible, or even growing seedlings in cassettes. Considering that not every seed can sprout, then when sowing seedlings in cassettes, it is better to sow 2-3 seeds in each cassette - the extra less strong plants in the phase of 1-2 true leaves will then need to be removed.

It is possible to obtain a full-fledged harvest of radish directly in cassettes (on hydroponic installations), which is currently practiced in some farms. In turn, amateur gardeners can use cassettes for growing seedlings, which will allow them to get a very early harvest of this crop in the greenhouse in the future. True, you can't grow up much like that, but it's quite possible to please your grandchildren.

Since radish is a very early ripening crop, it is more reasonable to sow its seeds after a fixed period of time - about 10-12 days in order to extend the period of product consumption. This will allow you to have fresh radishes on the table from early spring to autumn. True, from the end of May, preference should be given to varieties that are resistant to flowering (Duro, Early red, etc.), since other varieties, with lengthening daylight hours, quickly put forward peduncles and do not form root crops. It is possible to sow varieties unstable to flowering again only at the beginning of August.

In addition, in regions where July is characterized by a very hot temperature, it is better not to sow radish at all from the end of June to the end of July, because in hot weather, the tendency to arrowing in this crop increases sharply due to a lack of moisture. And gardeners simply cannot afford to water the plants several times a day. As a result, it is very difficult to get a full-fledged harvest of radish root crops during this period, even in varieties resistant to flowering.

Care of radishes during the growing season

The agricultural technology of radish (when it comes to sowing, taking into account the requirements of varieties for the length of daylight hours) is nothing particularly difficult - loosening, weeding and watering as needed. In order to reduce labor costs for these operations, it is better to immediately mulch crops with a thin (about 0.5 cm) layer of humus, sawdust, leaf litter or crushed bark. On the one hand, this will slightly reduce the amount of watering, which should be very regular, and on the other hand, it will provide a looseness of the topsoil, which is very important for radishes, which require aeration of the soil.

If you have sown varieties unstable to flowering, then with lengthening daylight hours, you will need to take additional measures to limit it to 12 hours, shading the crops in the morning and evening using frames with stretched black covering material. Such shading during hot hours is unacceptable due to overheating of the soil. However, today, with a large number of varieties resistant to flowering on the market, such an approach hardly seems reasonable. As for fertilizing, they are not required for radish - it is enough to pre-fill the soil with compost, complex fertilizer (Kemira, etc.) and a solid portion of ash.

The pests of radish are the same as those of other crucifers. Cruciferous flea beetles cause the biggest problems. It damages leaves, especially in the germination stage, sometimes it can even destroy them. And also the cabbage fly - its larvae make moves in the root crops, opening the path of infection and making the root crop absolutely inedible. Unfortunately, these pests can completely destroy the crop, so you simply cannot do without actively fighting them.

To protect against this scourge, as a rule, it is recommended to regularly dust the plants with a mixture of tobacco dust, ash and ground red pepper, or treat them with insecticides during the summer of the cabbage fly and in case of other pests. However, it is much easier and safer to grow this crop under a covering material, which completely eliminates pest problems.

As for diseases, the most dangerous is mucous bacteriosis, which is rot of radish root crops, it is caused by the activity of bacteria. Diseased root vegetables become slimy and decompose, emitting a very unpleasant characteristic odor. The source of infection is the soil on which cabbage and other cruciferous plants were grown. Damage to plants by a cabbage fly can also provoke the development of rot. If desired, now on sale you can find varieties of radish that are resistant to mucous bacteriosis, for example, the Mokhovsky variety.

Radish harvesting and storage

growing radish
growing radish

Radish is removed selectively - only full-fledged root crops, others are left for further growth. At the same time, single plants that have gone into color are removed (these 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 radish, since the stagnant roots quickly become wadded and tasteless, and the plants themselves go into color.

It is better to start cleaning in the morning; at the same time, evening watering on the previous day is required, otherwise the root crops will not be juicy enough. From the harvested radish, you should immediately cut off the tops (but in no case cut the roots), and then wash it and quickly dry it in the wind in the shade. Root vegetables processed in this way can be stored for up to 7 days at a temperature of + 2 … + 3 ° C in slightly opened plastic bags (for example, in the lower compartment of the refrigerator).

Svetlana Shlyakhtina, Yekaterinburg

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