Radishes

Radishes are one of the quickest crops to grow, taking just 3 to 4 weeks from the point of sowing. One of my favourites is a classic red and round type called ‘Cherry Belle’ whilst a long one with white-tipped roots is ‘French Breakfast’.

Radishes are also one of the easiest to grow and the seeds can be sown in spare patch of soil or often between other crops which are much slower growing. Swedes and parsnips are common favourites because they are picked long before any other crop takes their space.

The seeds are usually sown individually and usually 2 cm (3/4in.) apart. If they are sown little and often from March onwards, then a steady supply of these peppery roots is available. I usually sow a batch every two weeks into ground which I’ve watered well before hand and then left for an hour so that it drains away. This keeps the soil cool and moist for the seeds to start off in. The ground must be kept free of weeds and water in very hot, dry weather as the roots can become tough and woody. If they are left, they become not only chewy but eye-wateringly hot.

With large sowings, some seedlings need to be removed to allow space for the roots to swell. The biggest roots are lifted first with the remainder allowed to grow on.