Meet Radiant Radish Mix

by Tusha Yakovleva

radiant-radishRadishes sprout easily and grow quickly, tolerate the cold, and resist many pests and diseases. They are also beautiful and diverse in their looks, and versatile in their use in the kitchen. What better crop to welcome the opening of the growing season? Though a few spring greens and herbs often precede them, the act of pulling the first fresh root out of the ground sends the heart aflutter as it signals the start of a long season of culinary delights. To celebrate one of our favorite spring treats, we’ve collected a bouquet of our favorite spring radish varieties. Radiant Radish Mix includes Easter Egg, French Breakfast, Cherry Belle, and Plum Purple radishes and comes in an Art Pack created by artist Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson. Elizabeth’s collage captures the colorful joy of these spicy, sweet, crispy, and – most importantly – early roots!

Our bouquet of favorite spring radishes includes: easter

Easter Egg: petite radishes that are actually a collection of white, pink, red, and purple round radishes mild and sweet in taste.

French Breakfast: cylindrical, pink and white roots, pleasantly spicy and sweet. French breakfast radishes are so named after a typical French breakfast meal: radishes, cut in half lengthwise, and served with a side of sea salt and butter.

Cherry Belle: small to medium sized round red roots, crispy, juicy, and quick growing.

Plum Purple: a bright purple, (often) pear shaped, sweet variety.

cherrRadishes have been intertwined with humans for centuries, with the first records of their cultivated use dating back to ancient Egypt and spreading around the world since; arriving in Massachusetts for the first time around 1629. The first word in the radish’s scientific name – Raphanus sativus – is Greek for ‘quickly appearing’ – an appropriate name to describe the speed of these roots, making them a popular crop to grow in childrens’ gardens and a perfect fresh spring snack for winter-starved gardeners.

Doug’s radish growing tips: The radish is highly versatile in the garden. Most varieties mature in about six weeks, which make them one of the fastest of all garden crops. Sown in early April, they are ready by mid-May. Because of this quick maturity, they can be sown alongside slower crops such as carrots or tomatoes or peas. The radish harvest will cede space and soil nutrition to the slowpokes right when they are ready for it. They do not hold well in the soil in spring: they swell from the good-eating stage to the pithy stage within a week. It's best to harvest all the radishes when they are just ready to eat and then store them in the fridge; they will keep for several weeks as long as you remove the greens first. (The greens are edible and are really nice in soups or stir-fried with the steamed roots.) For steady fresh radishes, sow in succession until about June 1st, then start again in August for a fall crop, which will hold much more nicely in the cooling soils of autumn.

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