The radish is a useful plant and belongs to the cruciferous family. A comparatively large relative of the radish is the radish. These vegetables are about four centimeters thick and come in many different shapes and colors. The typical radish is a red, round tuber. However, there is now a great variety with white, yellow, pink or purple-colored varieties. Just like the colors, the shapes also vary. In addition to the typical spherical tubers, there are also oval, conical and cylindrical varieties.

In the round varieties, the storage tuber is formed from the lowest part of the stem axis. In the case of tapering varieties, also from the root. Mustard oils are responsible for the intense heat of these small fruits, which are part of their ingredients in addition to iron, potassium, copper and vitamin C.

Varieties and cultivation options

This tasty tuber can be grown both in the garden and on the balcony. They are ideally suited for the balcony box, above all because of their small footprint and the relatively short ripening time. Winter or spring cultivation in the greenhouse is also possible. The varieties ‘Fakir’ and ‘Jolly’ are particularly suitable for this.

Radishes are often grown in mixed culture with other vegetables. This has the advantage that the vegetables in question grow better, as there is no competition for nutrients, provided that the respective growth habit has been taken into account. Carrots, peas, beans, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, kohlrabi, strawberries, courgettes, parsley, nasturtiums and chard have proven to be good neighbors for radishes. Onions, cucumbers and basil, on the other hand, are not suitable for a neighborhood with radishes.


Depending on the variety, radishes are suitable for growing in spring, such as the Neckarperle, Saxa and Cyros varieties, or for summer cultivation from May, such as the Sora, Raxe and Parat varieties. Sowing in the greenhouse or cold frame is possible as early as February. Radishes can be sown outdoors from March, but only under foil. From the end of March to September they can then be sown outdoors without protection.

Between March and September you can re-sow roughly every four weeks so that you can always harvest fresh radishes for a long time. At the same location, radishes or other cruciferous vegetables should be grown again after four years at the earliest, taking the crop rotation into account.
For sowing, the seeds are placed in about 1 cm deep seed grooves and only lightly covered with soil. The distance between the individual seeds should be about 3-5 cm and between the rows of seeds between 10 and 15 cm. If the seeds are sown too densely, only abundant leaves and no storage tubers will usually develop.

If the seeds were sown too densely, the plants must be moved after germination, ie separated to 3-5 cm. If not singled out, the plants hinder each other’s growth and the tubers either turn out very small or do not develop at all.

The first seedlings can usually be seen after a week. From the start of sowing, the soil must be kept moist, but in no case too wet. Too much moisture is just as deadly to radishes as drought.

Location requirements

  • Radishes grow at temperatures of 5 degrees or more.
  • The location should be sunny to partially shaded.
  • At least 3-4 hours of sun a day is ideal.
  • The sun in spring is better tolerated than the blazing sun in summer.
  • Therefore, a light to partially shaded location is preferable in summer.
  • In particularly draughty locations, it is advisable to set up protection around the bed in question.
  • That could be boards or something like that.
  • The soil should be as permeable, nutrient-rich and humus as possible.
  • Furthermore, it should be moderately heavy and consistently moist.
  • Radishes cannot tolerate fresh manure.
  • It is better to incorporate ripe compost when sowing.

Watering and fertilizing

Especially in the summer months it has to be watered regularly. Even brief periods of dryness could significantly affect the taste and consistency of these small tubers. Otherwise it is usually sufficient to water once a week. How much and how often has to be poured, of course, also depends on the weather. Because, as already mentioned, too much moisture is just as unfavorable as too little.

It is best to fertilize with compost, which is already worked into the surface of the soil during the preparation of the soil. Superficial because radishes are shallow roots and therefore get their nutrients from the upper soil layers. However, too nitrogenous fertilization should be avoided, as this would only result in lush leaf growth. If, on the other hand, the soil is too poor in nutrients, the radishes wither or the plants are undersupplied and cannot form tubers.

Harvesting radishes

Depending on the sowing, the first radishes can be harvested as early as spring. If the seeds were sown at different times, harvesting can be carried out continuously from April to October. Due to their short ripening time, radishes sown in spring can be harvested within four to six weeks and summer radishes within four weeks, calculated from the date of sowing. Radishes sown outdoors at the end of March can then be harvested from around mid-May, depending on the weather.
However, you shouldn’t leave the hot tubers in the ground for too long, as the taste and consistency would suffer here too. They could get a slightly furry taste and become spongy. If the plant is already in bloom, the radishes are usually no longer edible because wood cells have formed inside the small tuber. The right time to harvest is therefore important. Radishes stay crispy in the refrigerator for a few days if you wrap them in damp kitchen towels and put them in the vegetable drawer.

Diseases and pests

Radishes are relatively sensitive to pests and diseases, but these are mostly due to poor site conditions or incorrect care. Pests include earth fleas, the cabbage fly, large and small, and the aphid. The diseases known as clubroot and downy mildew should be mentioned.


Earth fleas
Perforated leaves indicate an infestation with earth fleas, especially in warm, dry weather, with adult animals causing the greatest damage. As a result, the leaves wither and the plants wither. If the soil is too dry, this can encourage infestation.

To prevent fleas, it is helpful to chop lightly through or weed frequently, because these pests love it. Homemade wormwood broth can also have a preventive effect, as can keeping the soil moist. Garlic planted nearby is also said to ward off fleas. Otherwise, different insecticides can be used for control.

Large and small cabbage fly
The larvae of the cabbage fly cause severe damage to the roots or the tuber, which can lead to enormous harvest losses. This pest literally permeates the tubers and can cause young plants in particular to wither very quickly, so that they eventually die off.
Protective nets that are attached shortly after sowing can largely protect against the cabbage fly. Laying on fleece in the spring immediately after sowing can also be helpful. Frequent chopping through can also have a preventive effect here. Damage caused by the cabbage fly can also be counteracted by sowing particularly early, i.e. in March or relatively late in September.

Aphids cause feeding damage on the leaves and the root or tuber. The leaves curl and discolor and the entire plant withers. Aphids spread to other plants very quickly.

In addition to natural predators such as ladybirds, predatory bugs, hoverflies or lacewings, various means based on potash soap or rapeseed oil can be used to combat them.


Carbide hernia
The clubhead only occurs in cruciferous vegetables, including radishes. The so-called carbon hernia is caused by a fungus that lives in the soil and forms spores there. This fungus can stay in the ground for up to 20 years. Infested plants are particularly noticeable because of their sparse growth. The water absorption of the plants is disturbed, which means that they wither, especially in dry weather. Older leaves show yellowing and stunted growth when infected. The roots or tubers of affected plants have goiter-like, cylindrical thickenings.

To prevent this disease, it is especially important to keep the crop rotation, which means that radishes should only be sown in the same place every four years. A corresponding planting plan can help. Regular liming and good drainage are also recommended as a preventive measure, as well as enriching the soil with plenty of humus.

Preventive measures are particularly sensible because there are no chemical methods of combating clubroot in Germany and control is therefore very difficult. In order to at least contain the spread of the coal hernia, obviously infected plants should be removed and disposed of as quickly as possible so that the pathogen cannot spread further in the soil and spread to other plants.

Downy mildew
Downy mildew on radishes can be recognized by black spots and a white fungus coating on the tubers. On the leaves of affected plants, yellow or brownish spots can be seen, some with a very fine border, and also a whitish fungal lawn.

As a preventive measure, permanent leaf moisture should be avoided as well as excessively high humidity. The same applies to too dense sowing. As a rule, corresponding plants are treated with agents that contain copper or fungicides. This is usually not advisable for radishes, as they are intended for consumption. In this case, only removing and disposing of the plants is recommended.

Popular varieties

  • ‘Rudi’ – A burst-resistant variety with a mildly spicy taste, which does not get furry and is also preferred by professionals. Sowing is possible from March.
  • ‘Viola’ – A mildly spicy variety with an unusual violet color of the bulbs and delicate white pulp. Sowing is possible from March. Also suitable for the entire outdoor season.
  • ‘Cherry Belle’ – A fast growing variety for spring and autumn cultivation with bright red bulbs with a thin skin and a mild taste.
  • ‘Raxe’ – non-furry, burst-resistant red tubers with a mild, spicy taste for the entire outdoor season from March to September.
  • ‘Sora’ – A variety with fast-growing and firm-fleshed tubers with a diameter of up to 6 cm. It is particularly suitable for summer sowing.

The radish is a vegetable that is not only very popular with gardening beginners. This is not only due to the spicy taste of these small tubers, but also to the fact that they are fast-growing and can sometimes be harvested just 4 weeks after sowing. However, the site conditions and care requirements of the respective variety should always be taken into account, which can also counteract pest infestation.

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