Three Heirloom Radishes for Spring Gardening

Friends Drift Inn Farm – Gardening

Heirloom Radishes for Spring Gardening

Ravishing Radishes You Are Going To Love

Radishes are not my favorite vegetable but they are “the first.” First, it’s a wonderful word when the winter falls away, the spring planting has commenced, and the FIRST radishes pop through the soil.

First, it’s a word that holds promise of more. Oh, I am so ready to get in the garden!

Pop radish seeds in the ground and three weeks later one can have a nosh. Radishes bring gardeners quick results and dozens of culinary possibilities. When summer heat drives the plants to “bolt” producing seed, you can use the seed pods as a peppery accent to salads or let the pods mature and save seeds for next year’s garden.

Radishes, they are the perfect little packages of promise.

Radishes do best in a sandy loamy soil. I usually plant together with carrots in a sunny bed, pulling the radishes to let the carrots have more room. Because radishes shoot up leaves very quickly, they are a great way to mark a row. Radish seeds are very easy to work with, so get the kids involved!

In April, I’ll be talking radish menu suggestions with the folks at East Kentucky Broadcasting and Pike TV. Well, I say that. Let’s rephrase. If the creek doesn’t rise and sweep away my early garden crops, you will see my heirloom radishes in a number of recipes. If we get floods, well there are the local grocery stores- but trust me it’s not the same.

Get out in the garden and get these seeds in the ground.

It’s magical! Really; you should try it.

Cherry Belle Radish

Cherry Belle Radishes Grow Your Own or Shop Farmers Market First!

I call this the “Grocery Store” radish truly “Garden Variety.” The beauty of Cherry Belles is they are quick! Twenty two days and you are there! The roots are round and make pretty circles for salads, with a taste very mild. If I get an early enough start, I plant in “succession” planting enough for personal use about once a week until the weather turns hot.

Watermelon Radish

Watermelon Radish Heirloom Gardener and Chef Favorite

These babies are show stoppers! Akin to a diakon radish, these are sometimes marketed as “Chinese Red Meat.” Watermelon Radishes are very popular with the chef set; they can be eaten raw or cooked. The flavor is a bit more pungent than say a Cherry Belle. I have seen these at the Lexington Farmers Market sold in sizes varying from large marble to tennis ball size. This is my first year growing this variety; and I may be wrong in planting in the spring. I am told they sweeten in the coolness of fall. Call me impatient, I want them NOW. Giggles this is a SLOW grower for radishes, about 60 days.

French Breakfast Radish

French Breakfast Radish will extend the season from Spring to early Summer

Radishes for breakfast? Well yes. You will be surprised at the way I use these with eggs and toast! I like French Breakfast Radishes because they will hold up to the early summer heat without going too pithy or setting seed. They are pretty too! French Breakfast Radishes are lovely to look at and are fairly mild in taste. Gotta get ya some!

I’ve picked Salad Rose and the Sparkler variety of radishes for additional trials this year. Cannot wait to see how they grow! Here is a growing guide from Rodale’s.

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More Roots and Radishes
Fresh Radish Salad Easy and Quick
Heirloom Seeds

About Joyce Pinson

Joyce Friend Pinson is a regional farm-to-table columnist for the Appalachian-News Express. She is a local television host. Her column show and blog, Friends Drift Inn, explores food, gardening, and real life farm-to-table stories from the perspective of a baby boomer in Appalachia. Joyce has a background in agriculture, media, and small business. Joyce is an heirloom gardening addict and home canner. She has a penchant for big hats, pointy toed shoes, and bourbon. Along with her husband Charlie, Joyce really does live in a barn where they ballroom dance. And laugh. And cook. And giggle.