The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Radishes Gone Wild

May 4th, 2010 · 2 Comments · Posted in garden

Is it a radish, or a turnip?

Is it a radish, or a turnip?

I just returned from a week in Berkeley, CA, and found that my garden is wild for all the compost we placed in our beds this spring. Maybe a little too wild. The radishes were reaching for the sky, getting ready to make seed. But wait. They hadn’t made any radishes yet. There was nothing to do but pull them all out and start over.

Meanwhile, in a shadier area of the garden where friends have staked out a plot, the radishes were doing just fine. They’d not only managed to maintain their composure where the foliage was concerned, but were making nice, plump roots to eat.

There’s a lesson in this, of course. If you want nice, plump radishes, don’t give them too much food or sunshine. (It also helps if you have a real spring, not temperatures near 90 in April and May like we’re having here in the District of Columbia).

But there was further instruction to be gained from our spring planting. Right next door to the gone-wild radishes was a patch of Hakurei turnips that were doing just fine. There was no sign from them of an irresistible urge to procreate. What’s more, they were more than ready to be harvested, with big, round, perfectly white globes poking out of the soil.

The Hakurei turnip may be the smoothest, sweetest, easiest eating radish you’ve ever tasted. It doesn’t have the bite of a radish, so if you don’t like the bite, try these.

I’m tempted to say, Let’s just forget about these temperamental radishes and plant Hakurei turnips only from now on. But my wife won’t hear of it. “I like radishes,” she says. “Just find a shadier spot for them.”

I guess that’s what we’ll do.

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  • espringf

    I do love me some Hakureis. Have converted half a dozen people to them in the last week; they are coming out of the greenhouse in full force. About 5 lb of roots and greens so far.

    Some are pickling as we speak…

  • Ed Bruske

    Emily, pickled Hakureis? Great idea!

    They are so good.