(Raphanus sativus) French Breakfast has been a fixture in home gardens for over 100 years. This oblong, gourmet favorite has a scarlet red top, pure white tips, and a mild, sweet flavor.
This spring radish grows best during the cool periods of spring and fall. Delicious served in the traditional manner on buttered bread for breakfast, and perfect as fresh, crisp addition for salads.
Radish tops can be harvested young for salads and also make an excellent treat for backyard chickens.
Great variety for containers.
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Sow outdoors 4-6 weeks before average last frost and after the soil temperature is above 40°F. For a continuous supply, sow successively every 5-10 days until late spring, and then again in late summer until frost.
Heirloom radishes are wonderfully easy to grow. As with all root crops, loose soil is essential for good root formation.
Radish seeds germinate in a matter of days. Many gardeners put a few radish seeds amongst the rows of carrots and other vegetables that take a long period to germinate. This "marks" the rows. As the carrot crop begins to grow, you can pull and eat the spouts in salads or on sandwiches.
Broadcast spreading is also common, and easy to do since radish seeds are so tiny. Prepare a square or rectangular area and spread the seed out across the entire area. Then, lightly sprinkle loose soil over the area. Thin seedlings to two inches apart in all directions. Radishes do not like to be crowded, and will not bulb properly if overcrowded by other radishes or weeds.
Skip radishes in the mid-summer weeks. Like most root crops, they will not perform well in high heat and are likely to bolt quickly.
They are a great crop for budding young gardeners. They are easy to grow, perhaps the fastest to harvest of all vegetables. With a harvest in as little as twenty days, kids are quickly rewarded for their efforts.
Harvest when radish is no larger than 1½" in diameter. If allowed to grow bigger, radishes will become pithy and hot. The best way to determine when to harvest is to simply push back a little soil to see if a bulb has grown and then pick and taste a few.