Radishes are a great choice if you want to have kids started gardening. Most varieties are quick to develop, fun to harvest and tasty raw or cooked. They come in many of colors (white, pink, red, rose, black, gold, lavender, purple) and may even be earthy. They have good shapes, from small and round to carrot-like long ones. They’re also fairly disease free.
Though regular radishes are relatively modest, Japanese radishes, or daikon, may be huge. These take more time to grow (up to five months) but are worth it for the selection of tastes.
Jocelyn H. Chilvers
When to plant: Start sowing regular radish seeds two to three weeks prior to the last frost in spring, and in late summer four to six weeks until the first fall frost. Keep on sowing every two weeks or so in both spring and fall. (You might have the ability to continue into winter in mild climates.) Set out daikon in fall about two months prior to the first frost.
Days to maturity: 21 to 150
Light requirement: Full sun is best, but they can take partial shade
Water necessity: Consistent water, but do not flood the garden bed
Favorites: April Cross (daikon), Champion, Cherry Belle, Crimson Giant, Easter Egg, French Breakfast, Hailstone, Long Black Spanish, Minowase (daikon), Plum Purple, Sakurajima (daikon), Scarlet Globe, Snowbelle
The New York Botanical Garden
Planting and care: begin with soil that’s well amended, loose, and free from clods and stones, which drains well. Sow seeds about a half inch deep and an inch apart, leave more space if the plants are bigger, or simply throw them in the bed and thin them out since they grow. Maintain the mattress consistently watered and weeded. You may run into problems with root maggots and beetles, but those are not common.
Harvest: The earlier you harvest, the milder radishes tastes. Pull them up when they’re relatively modest or they will get tough. You will probably need to dig up the bigger types.
More: How to grow cool-season veggies