Radishes – A Fast Growing Crop
The radish is one of the fastest-growing of all vegetable crops. Garden radishes can be tucked in a small area between larger plants and harvested in as little as three weeks. But radishes may also take several months to reach maturity, depending on the variety.
Many people are familiar with the classic garden radish, used as crudites or a salad vegetable. They are probably less familiar with edible podradishes – grown for their spicy pods rather than roots. In addition, radish varieties include winter radishes and the giant Sakurajima Mammoth radish, a very old radish from Japan. Maturity dates vary considerably.
Variety and Maturity
The variety of radish has the biggest effect on how long it takes to grow the vegetables. Here are a few examples (although there are many more varieties):
- Cherry Belle – 22 days
- Easter Egg – 25 days
- Icicle – 25 days
- Rat-Tailed – 45 to 50 days
- China Rose – 52 days
- Daikon – 60 days
- Sakurajima Mammoth – 80 days
Germination to Sprouts
Radishes may germinate in as little as four days. If you’re growing them to eat as sprouts for salads, sandwiches and stir fries, they’ll be ready in less than a week in most cases. This is unquestionably the shortest time frame in which you can grow radishes.
The typical garden or spring radish is round and red, pink, purple or white, although some are more carrot-shaped. These are the radishes sliced into salads or eaten whole, perhaps with a bit of salt. It can take as little as 21 days for a variety like Cherry Belle or as long as 60 days for a daikon radish to mature.
Winter radishes were commonly grown back in the days when people didn’t have refrigerators. These radishes were meant to be planted in fall and left in the ground over the winter. Maturity dates are typically 60 days or more. Black Round Spanish and Chinese White Winter are two examples.
Some radishes are grown for their pods rather than their roots. Edible-podded radishes are sometimes called “rat-tail” radishes because the pods are similar in shape to a rat’s tail. These can actually grow all summer since you don’t harvest the roots. You can start harvesting at about 50 days.
Really Big Radishes
One variety of Japanese daikon radish, the Sakurajima Mammoth radish, has a much longer growth period than others. Typically planted in August and harvested as late as February, this radish can grow to a weight of 100 pounds. The round white root is relatively sweet for a radish and is usually served cooked.