Maturing as fast as a month after sowing, radishes are among the first vegetables ready for harvest in the spring. They grow best in cool, moist soil so plant them as soon as the soil can be worked in spring. Plant a second crop in early fall.
1. Prepare. Loosen soil to a depth of 8 to 10 inches using a shovel or tiller. Mix in some compost or slow-release fertilizer to provide plants with nutrients. Then rake the soil smooth, removing any large clumps and rocks.
2. Plant. Sow seeds about a half-inch deep and an inch apart. Because they germinate and mature quickly, you can mix them in rows with slower-growing crops. Cover seed with soil and press gently.
3. Grow. Once seedlings are a few inches tall, thin them by removing extra plants so the remaining ones are about 3 inches apart. Water soil to keep it moist — dry soil leads to tough and very hot/spicy radishes. Pull weeds that sprout nearby. Apply organic mulch, like bark chips, to control weeds and conserve soil moisture.
4. Enjoy. Start harvesting round "salad" radishes when they're still small — about the size of a large grape — or at whatever size is recommended on the seed packet.
AT A GLANCE
Exposure: Full sun
Planting time: 3 to 4 weeks before the last spring frost
Planting depth: 1/2 inch deep
Spacing in row: 1 inches apart; thin to 3 inches apart
Time to harvest : 30 to 40 days