Probably native to the eastern Mediterranean region. The most familiar radishes are short, round, red or red-and-white types like ‘Cherry Belle’, ‘Cherriette’, and ‘Scarlet White-tipped’. You can also get round radishes in white or pink; ‘Easter Egg II’ produces a mixture of white, pink, red, and purple. ‘French Dressing’ and ‘Red Flame’ are long, narrow, white-tipped types with a sweet flavor; they’re known as breakfast radishes. Other long radishes have a more typical radish flavor; white ‘Icicle’ is the best known of these, but there are also novelties like ‘Misato Rose Flesh’, which is green outside and pink inside.
Some types of long, white radishes with a mildly nippy to hot flavor can be found in markets under the name “daikon.”To grow well, these root vegetables need evenly moist soil and some added nutrients. Supply nutrients by blending well-aged manure into the soil at least a month before planting. Or feed about 10 days after planting, applying fertilizer beside rows (as for carrots) or using a liquid fertilizer.
Sow seeds as soon as the ground can be worked in spring, then at weekly intervals until warm weather approaches (plants go to seed when temperatures rise, with roots becoming bitter in the process). In mild-winter climates, you can also sow at intervals in fall and winter for harvest during those seasons. Sow seeds 1/2 in. deep and 1 in. apart; space rows 1–1 1/2 ft. apart. When the tops are up, pull out every other plant; you can eat the thinnings if they are large enough.
Radishes are best harvested and eaten as soon as they reach full size; they can become pithy and overly pungent in flavor if left in the ground too long. You can pull them for the table as early as 3 weeks after sowing seeds (the slowest kinds take 2 months to reach table-ready size).
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