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Radishes, in their early forms, come from the ancient civilizations of China, Greece, and Egypt; soon, surrounding nations also cultivated this vegetable. While the Oriental nations cultivated the large, elongated radishes, most of the more delicate round varieties such as Easter Egg were developed by the Dutch and the French.
Sowing: Direct sow the first crop of radishes in rich soil, about four weeks before the last expected spring frost. Plant them in deeply worked up soil about 1/2″ deep and 1″ apart; later, thin the seedlings 2-3″ apart or more for larger radishes. For a continuous harvest, plant a new crop every two weeks. Since most radishes do not tolerate heat well, it is best to avoid planting them in the heat of midsummer. For a fall crop and winter storage, plant about two months before the first expected fall frost.
Growing: Radishes do well with consistently moist soil and the addition of organic matter such as compost. Do not allow the soil to dry out, but also avoid overwatering as this can cause splitting.
Harvesting: This variety tastes best when harvested at 1-2″ in diameter.
Seed Saving: Radishes will cross pollinate with all other varieties of radish, and must be isolated by at least half a mile from other varieties to protect genetic purity. Allow the radish plant to fully mature and send up a flowering stalk; the pods will form and turn from green to brown. Pick the brown pods and allow them to dry for several days. Thresh out the seeds by opening the pods by hand, or by applying pressure to crush them. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place for up to five years.
Latin Name: Raphanus sativus
Type: Open Pollinated, Cool Season
USDA Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Seeds per Ounce: 2,500
Planting Method: Direct Sow
Sunlight: Full Sun
Height: 9 Inches
Color: Mixed, White, Pink, Red, Orange, Purple
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