Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fall Radishes - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

These pictures are from a few weeks ago while I was in California.  It was my first chance to harvest the Cherry Belle radishes since first planting them about 35 days ago.  I knew that was about 10 days past their normal days to maturity, but I was hoping that cooler temperatures and shorter daylights of late fall would work in my favor and not negatively affect the radishes too much.

Well, I can always hope, right?

While a bit on the small side, here are The Good.

Then we have The Bad.

And we have The Ugly.

I have read that uneven watering and being left in the ground for too long can cause radish cracking.  I've also read that under- or non-development of roots may be caused by overcrowding, temperatures being too hot or soil deficiencies.  But I'm still puzzled because all these radishes were grown in the same part of the garden sufficiently/evenly spaced away from each other.  Whatever water/light/soil nutrition these radishes might have been lacking, they all got exactly the same treatment, yet some fared much better than the others. 

Oh well, I guess it's just another proof that vegetable gardening is anything but predictable.

I am happy to report that whatever problems the radish roots were having didn't affect the green tops at all.  They all grew beautifully and were rather delicious tossed into some soup.  It was my first time eating full grown radish greens, but I'm sure it won't be the last time.


Robin said...

Very nice radishes Minji! Anything harvested from the garden right now is a real treat! I have some growing in my cold frame experiment. I hope we get to eat some during the cold winter months.

I have never used radish greens in soup. Thanks for the idea :)

Erin said...

Very pretty! I didn't plant any this year, hubby's the only one who eats them (I eat them "sometimes"), but they sure are fun to grow. I'm still searching for the perfect one for my taste - I remember eating lots of the ones my grandma had, but have no idea what they were. It's also possible my tastes have changed since I was little :)

Anonymous said...

I was reading some time ago about eating radishes tops, but forgot about that. Thanks for reminding me. My radishes tops end up in compost usually.
I hope I will remember it next spring.

Eliza said...

That's a beautiful harvest of radishes! I have found that some years I just have oddballs that don't ripen properly -- I blame it on the weather. :)

Kaytee said...

I had some cracking too with my fall radishes. And it was just like yours, all got the same treatment. One would be good, and the one next to it would be cracked. And I also had some not develop, like yours.

Ottawa Gardener said...

Maybe just a little good ol' fashioned genetic variation? Alternatively, very, very, very micro mini climates in the soil undulation etc...

Still they look edible. :)

thyme2garden said...

Robin - I hope yours grow well in the cold frame. I hope to experiment with one myself, maybe next winter.

* * * * *
Erin - We're not big radish fans around here, either, but I'm trying to like them because they grow so fast.

* * * * *
vrtlarica - I'll try to remind you again next spring!

* * * * *
Eliza - I suppose we can always blame it on the weather. :)

* * * * *
Kaytee - gardening unpredictability all around!

* * * * *
Ottawa Gardener - edible, they really were!

Veggie PAK said...

Now that I know you can use the tops, I think I'll try growing some radishes in a container since I can't get them to grow in the ground. Then, if I don't get the bulb, at least I can use the greens. Thanks!

Stefaneener said...

It's never dull, eh?

I wish I loved radishes as they are so rewarding to grow. Enjoy yours, I suppose.

Stevie from said...

i'd like to try watermelon radishes one of these days - so pretty.

Annie's Granny said...

I have the good and the ugly, but luckily have not been blessed with the bad! I had a lot of cracking in my spring radishes, but the winter radishes, like yours, growing in the same bed, same soil, same nutrients, all spaced 2" apart, show a few small bulbs and a lot of skinny roots. I think radishes are my most frequent crop failure. My rabbit loves the tops, so I've never had any left over to try. Until this year, I'd never even heard that people ate the tops!

The Idiot Gardener said...

I had a similar experience with my late turnips. Some were good by small, some cracked and many were nigh on invisible.

Mark Willis said...

If it's any consolation, I've been growing radishes for years and still have difficulty with consistency - success seems to be mainly a matter of luck, though I do think radishes need to have evenly moist soil to do well. Dry soil inevitably leads to bolting. I have in the past tried eating the leaves, but never enjoyed them: they seem tough (and unpleasantly hairy too!). Despite all this though, there is little that is more satisfying than biting into a home-grown radish (one of the Good ones...)

Tanya Boracay said...

Wow great, i can't plan anymore in this year. The other one is look healthy.

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~Ron said...

I've had some turn out great, and some turn out not bulbing at all, like yours. Mine were a tad on the overcrowded side though. And I have read that radishes have very low nutrition requirements.

~Holly~ said...

Hi Minji, Just checking in on you to say hi. Hope you guys had a great holiday season! Merry belated christmas!!

foodgardenkitchen said...

Radishes are supposedly one of the easiest vegetables to grow and it is completely hit or miss in my garden... most of mine end up as "the ugly." They just don't size up at all (and I have planted *many* different varieties of radish). I have really no idea why other than perhaps a soil deficiency of some sort.

Last spring was our first successful crop and even that wasn't *that* great. My Fall radishes this year haven't done much and I think they may be dead by now with all of the snow we've gotten.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year, Minji! I wish you a great gardening year!

thyme2garden said...

Veggie PAK - you're welcome! I hope your greens grow well for your enjoyment!

* * * * *
Stefaneener - dull it isn't!

* * * * *
Stevie - I have seen pictures of them and yes, they are pretty indeed!

* * * * *
Granny - you are lucky! And yes, people can eat tops, too!

* * * * *
TIG - size diversity for everyone!

* * * * *
Mark Willis - Radish greens are a bit chewier than other greens, due to their tougher stems, but I just cook them a bit longer. I haven't had issues with the hairy part, but I can see how that could be unpleasant!

* * * * *
Tanya - thanks!

* * * * *
Ron - thank you! I will visit and check out your blog.

* * * * *
amy - I think of radishes as fillers. :)

* * * * *
Holly - thank you! Hope you and your family had a great holiday season, too!

* * * * *
foodgardenkitchen - Your fall radishes may still be alive under all that snow! My daikon radishes survived for the most part!

* * * * *
vrtlarica - Thank you Ana! Happy New Year and a fantastic new gardening year to you, too!

meemsnyc said...

We had all three in our garden too. Many cracked, and some never developed. I think it's because of our hard soil. We added a lot of amendments and raised beds, so I'm looking forward to growing more radishes this year!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I'm thinking what happens when radishes aren't thinned, is that some start taking up the moisture and nutrients and developing, leaving less food and room for the others, so they stay small. It's kind of like if certain puppies nurse and don't let others in as much. I may be wrong, but that's my theory.

I've experienced that with carrots, too.

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