User Reviewed

How to Grow Radishes

Three Parts:Preparing to PlantGrowing Your RadishTroubleshooting Your Radish

Radishes mature incredibly quickly (with some varieties taking only 3 weeks from seed to maturity), and they are very hardy. Their peppery flavor adds a kick to soups and salads, and they take up very little space in the garden. To begin successfully growing radishes, see step 1!

Part 1
Preparing to Plant

  1. Image titled Grow Radishes Step 1
    Decide what variety of radishes you want to plant. Like many vegetables, there are innumerable varieties of radishes at your disposal, both hybrid and open-pollinated. If you are a novice gardener, consider growing Cherry Belle radishes; they mature in just 22 days and have a pleasant, mild flavor.[1]
    • Spring radishes are the types that people are most familiar (like the Cherry Belle radish, which is the the red on the outside, white on the inside one). You want to make sure that you're growing these in spring or fall. They tend to be the fastest growing radish, as well.
    • Typically the summer radish is similar to the spring radish, but tends to grow more slowly, taking around 6-8 weeks to mature.
    • The winter radish is much larger and starchier than the spring and summer radishes and takes longer to grow. It's best to sow it in late summer for a fall or winter harvest. Winter radishes include Daikon, and Champions. Daikon, which can grow to 18 inches (45 cm) long, takes 60 days to mature.
  2. Image titled Grow Radishes Step 2
    Pick the right site for growing. Radishes should be planted in an area with full sun or partial shade, and loose, well-drained soil. Remove any rocks from the soil, as the roots will bifurcate around any rocks in their way. Add organic matter to the soil before planting.[2]
    • Make sure your radishes are getting plenty of sunlight. Otherwise they will grow big on top and very small in the root section. However, you do need to remember that the hotter the soil, the hotter the radish, which is one reason why you shouldn't plant radishes during the main part of the summer. Another reason is that radishes will go to seed if given too much sunlight.
    • The soil needs to be free of rocks, well-drained and have a pH content between 5.8 and 6.8. You should make sure to use lots of organic matter (like compost) in the soil.
  3. Image titled Grow Radishes Step 3
    Schedule your radish plantings. Radishes are a cool weather crop best planted in spring and autumn. Growing radishes during the hot summer months will cause them to bolt. You can plant your first crop a full 2 weeks before the last frost in spring, as radishes endure frost well.[3]
    • Stop growing when hot weather shows up. This basically means that if you're having consecutive days of 60 °F (16 °C) or above you should hold off on your radish planting until it gets cooler.
    • The schedule for a typical spring radish has it that germination occurs in about 5 days, with the harvest occurring in 3 to 4 weeks.
    • Because radishes grow so quickly, they will act as convenient row markers in your garden, so consider inter-cropping them with slow-growing vegetables.

Part 2
Growing Your Radish

  1. Image titled Grow Radishes Step 4
    Sow the radish seeds. You will want them to be about 1/2 inch (12.5 mm) deep and 1 inch (25 mm) apart. As they germinate, thin the successful seedlings to about 2 inches (5 cm) apart, allowing more space for bigger varieties. Rows should be planted about 1 foot (30 cm) apart.[4]
    • You will want to thin the radishes when they have grown about 1 inch. Aim to just cut off their heads with a small pair of scissors, all the way down to the soil.[5]
    • If you're planting a large radish you will want to plant the seeds about 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch deep.
    • Radishes work well as companion plants, because they keep a lot of the bugs off the regular plants and they grow more quickly. Plant them alongside carrots, parsnips, and cabbages.
  2. Image titled Grow Radishes Step 5
    Water the radishes as they grow. Keep the radish beds moist, but not soaked. Watering radishes frequently and evenly will result in quick growth; if radishes grow too slowly, they will develop a hot, woody taste. Add compost to the radish bed as desired.
    • If you don't water them evenly (for example, not watering for a few days and then drowning them) the radishes can crack.
  3. Image titled Grow Radishes Step 6
    Harvest the radishes. Radishes are ready to harvest when their roots are about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter, although you should refer to the seed packet for the time to maturity as well. To harvest, lift the entire plant out of the ground with your hand.[6]
    • You can also push back the dirt and see if a bulb has grown. If so, pull a few radishes and taste them. That will let you know if they're ready to be harvested.
    • Unlike many root vegetables, radishes cannot be left in the ground, as doing so will cause them to become tough and pithy.
  4. Image titled Grow Radishes Step 7
    Clean and store your radishes. Brush the soil off your radishes using your hand, and then store them in a cool, dark place for up to 2 weeks. Wash them with water before eating them.[7]

Part 3
Troubleshooting Your Radish

  1. Image titled Grow Radishes Step 8
    Deal with fungi problems. There are different kinds of fungi that can kill your radish or make it taste really bad. Usually there are obvious signs of a fungus problem that you can watch out for and subsequently deal with.[8]
    • If pale yellow and grey spots appear on the radish leaves, your radish might have leaf spot, also known as Septoria leaf spot, a fungal disease. If you do have this, make sure that your planting bed is well-drained (the water doesn't just sit there) and add organic matter (like compost). Remove the infected radishes. To avoid this problem, rotate your crops so that you don't plant your radishes in the same bed each time. Also, keep your garden free of plant debris (dead plants, weeds you've picked, etc.).
    • If pale green spots start appearing on the upper side of the leaves, with a purple downy growth on the undersides, you might be dealing with downy mildew, a type of fungus. Get rid of infected plants and make sure that you aren't over-watering. Avoiding radish over-crowdin by thinning the herd. To avoid downy mildew, make sure that you rotate your crops, and keep the garden free of plant debris.
    • If the radish leaves turn yellow between their veins, if the leaf margins turn brown and curl upward, if the stem base turns dark brown, black, and becomes slimy, you might have blackleg, a fungal disease. Add organic matter, like compost, to the plant bed, and make sure that your soil is well drained (not holding too much water and that you aren't over-watering). To avoid getting this, make sure that you rotate your crops.
  2. Image titled Grow Radishes Step 9
    Get rid of problematic bugs. Fungi aren't the only things that can cause problems with your radishes. Certain bugs can get into your plants and feed on them so that they begin to die. Many times you can avoid these bugs by keeping your garden clear of plant debris and weeds. If they do show up there are some ways you can deal with them.
    • If your leaves are looking faded and you find that there are tunnels and grooves in the roots, you might have root maggots. These tiny critters are small, gray/white, legless worms. Flies lay their eggs in the soil beside the plant. To get rid of them, add lime or wood ashes to the base of your radish plants. Wait to plant your radishes until the weather is drier so that you avoid the maggot's life cycle.
    • If you have tiny holes appearing in the radish leaves, you might have flea beetles. These little critters are bronze or black beetles 1/16th of an inch long. If you find you have these, spread diatomaceous earth, a type of soft, sedimentary rock that crumbles easily into a fine, off-white powder. This can act as a natural bug killer.[9] You should also cultivate the ground often, so that you disrupt the beetles' life cycle.
    • If your radish plants have whitish or yellowish spots, have deformed leaves, or if the plants are wilting, you might have Harlequin bugs. These bugs, which are black with yellow or red or orange markings, suck the fluids out of the radish's plant tissue. Pick out and destroy all the bugs and the egg masses. To help keep them out of your garden, keep it clear of the places where bugs breed, like crop residue and weeds.
    • If the leaves of your radish plant turn a dull yellow, if they curl and become brittle, your radish plant might have contracted Aster yellows, a mycoplasma disease spread by Leafhoppers. If this is the case, remove the infect plant or plants, and control the leaf-hopper population by keeping down the weeds and plant debris.
  3. Image titled Grow Radishes Step 10
    Check your soil. Soil temperature, type, and how watered it is can play a big role in how well your radish plant is doing. Remember that you're trying for evenly watered (not overly watered), correct pH content soil.
    • If your radishes end up tasting too hot or too pungent, it likely means that the soil is too dry or the temperature of the soil is too hot (above 90 degrees Fahrenheit). To protect your roots and cool the soil, add 2 to 3 inches of organic mulch. Water your radishes 2 to 3 hours at a time and then wait until the soil has dried to at least a 4 inch depth.
    • If the radish root is pithy and woody the temperature of the soil has likely been too high and the watering spotty. Make sure that the roots are covered with soil or warmth to keep them cool and that you are watering evenly. Also, make sure that you are harvesting your radishes as soon as they're big enough, so that they don't grow too big and crack.


  • Radishes can also be grown in containers, and can even be grown indoors given the right conditions.
  • If your radishes do bolt, don't immediately get rid of them. After the flowers have faded, they will produce seeds which are spicy and crunchy if you pick them when they're soft and green.


  • Remember, the quick maturation period of the radish means that it's just as quick to over-mature, so pay attention!

Things You'll Need

  • Radish seeds
  • Compost
  • Hand spade
  • Water

Article Info

Categories: Growing Vegetables