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  • Writer's pictureDerek Headley

Harvesting Radishes from Your Garden

This is the first year I've grown radishes in my garden so I'm learning lots of new things about caring for and harvesting them. The most important piece is timing, make sure to pay attention to the "How long to Harvest" section of the bag your seeds come in. The time to maturity can vary depending on the type of radish you plant and the climate conditions, most radishes are between 30-45 days to harvest.

These guys are Rainbow Radishes and according to the packaging they should be ready to harvest at about 28 days, I say about because I assume the time frame on the package is given optimal growing conditions, so unless you are growing these in a climate controlled green house then the time to harvest may be a little off. I would not let them go longer than 10 days past the harvest date.

Another thing I learned is to look at the growth of the plant above ground, ideally the length of growth above ground should be about 4 inches (stems and leaves). Usually whatever is taking place above ground is a good indicator of what's happening under the ground, so if you are seeing a ton of growth in the leaves above ground then things should be working pretty hard below ground as well.

A good way to tell if the radishes are ready to harvest, or are almost ready to harvest is by shouldering. If you take your finger and run it around the base of the plant where the stem and ground meet and can see the top (shoulders) of the radish sticking out of the ground then they are basically ready to harvest. These ones were so ready to be harvested they almost pulled themselves completely out of the ground.

To harvest the radish you will want to pull the entire plant out of the ground by pulling the stem down at the base, radishes should be harvested whole. Once you've harvested the plant then you just need to clean and trim the radish and it's ready for consumption or storage.

It's best to consume radishes as soon as possible after harvesting or purchasing them for the freshest taste and texture, but you can store them as well. The best way to store radishes is to remove the greens from the radish bulbs and store them separately, discard them, or utilize them for composting. The greens draw moisture from the bulbs which causes them to spoil quicker. Here are a few storage options for radishes:

  1. In the refrigerator: Place the radish bulbs in a plastic bag or airtight container and store them in the refrigerator. They should stay fresh for up to two weeks.

  2. In water: If you prefer to store your radishes with the greens still attached, you can place them in a container of water in the refrigerator. The water will help keep the greens fresh, but be sure to change the water every couple of days.

  3. In the freezer: Radishes can be frozen, but they will lose some of their crispness and texture. To freeze radishes, wash and slice them, then blanch them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Drain and cool them, then place them in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 8 months.



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