Friday, December 17, 2010

Growing radishes

The radish is essentially a cool-season crop. It grows best in the spring and autumn and will tolerate light winter frosts. The high temperatures of summer cause the plant to develop small tops, and roots rapidly become pithy and strongly pungent after reaching maturity. For this reason producing quality radishes during midsummer can be difficult.

Radishes do best on the lighter, sandy, well-drained soils. This allows for even root development and ease of washing after harvest. Liberal applications of animal manure are normally used for growing radishes. Apply a good quality fowl manure at the rate of 15 t/ha (1.5 kg/m2) two to three weeks before planting. Prior to sowing, broadcast 100 g/m2 of 5:5:5 N:P:K fertiliser. This ensures that the young seedlings have a ready supply of major elements immediately after germination. This is important for radishes, as they have such a short growing period.

Radishes will tolerate slightly acid soil, but the pH should not be allowed to fall below 5.5. To avoid using excessive fertiliser, apply fertiliser according to a soil analysis.

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