How to Know When to Pick Radishes
Radishes are one of the first vegetables ready for harvest in the spring. Most varieties have a maturity date of approximately 25 days from planting, and you can sow the seeds every 10 to 14 days until the weather turns hot. Radishes are also planted in mid-summer for a fall crop.
Winter storage radishes grow larger and do not mature until 50 to 70 days after planting. Edible pod radishes are grown for their seedpods, which mature in 50 days. Growing conditions affect the final maturity date, so consider the harvest dates printed on seed packets to be estimates.
Things You Will Need
- Waterproof marker
- Plastic row marker or notebook
- Garden snips
- Plastic bags
Record the expected maturity date for each radish variety the day you plant the seeds. Use a waterproof marker to write the date on a plastic row label or jot it in a notebook.
Check the radishes five to seven days before the maturity date by pulling one from the ground. Harvest the sample radish by grasping the bottom of the foliage near the soil and firmly pulling upward. If the radish is 1/2 to 1 inch across, the crop is ready to harvest.
Remove the leaves with garden snips, wash the radishes and place them in plastic bags. They will keep for two to four weeks in the refrigerator.
Harvest winter radishes any time after the expected harvest date. You may leave them in the ground until two weeks before the first frost date in the fall.
Pick winter radishes by grasping the foliage near the soil and pulling upward.
Store the radishes where they will remain cool and moist, for up to two months.
Edible Pod Radishes
Check the plants every two to three days after the blossoms appear. The pods resemble green beans, with the lower pods ripening first.
Harvest the pods when they are the thickness of a pencil for peak flavor. Pick a rat-tail radish by grasping the small stem at one end of the pod and bending it to the side until it snaps it off where the stem attaches to the branch.
Use edible pod radishes soon after picking them or store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Delay the harvest of winter radishes by mulching them with 4 to 6 inches of straw or hay. You can pick them as needed during the winter.
Radishes left too long in the ground become pithy and develop a hot flavor.
The Drip Cap
- Radishes are one of the first vegetables ready for harvest in the spring.
- Most varieties have a maturity date of approximately 25 days from planting, and you can sow the seeds every 10 to 14 days until the weather turns hot.
- Radishes are also planted in mid-summer for a fall crop.
- Check the radishes five to seven days before the maturity date by pulling one from the ground.
- Use edible pod radishes soon after picking them or store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- University of Illinois Extension: Radish
- Cornell University Cooperative Extension; Guidelines for Harvesting Vegetables; Eric de Long Chemung; October 2001
- Utah State University Cooperative Extension; Radishes in the Garden; Dan Drost, et al.; June 2010
- The Washington Post; Radish Aims to Please in a Pod; Barbara Damrosch; August 2006
- The Old Farmer’s Almanac; Plant These Radishes for Their Tasty Seed Pods; Doreen G. Howard; March 2011
Sandra Corbitt-Sears has been self-employed as a writer, editor and webmaster for over 17 years. She has held positions as a university career counselor, employee assistance program counselor and department administrator. Corbitt-Sears earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and a Master of Science degree in counseling and guidance from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
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