Radishes - Raphanus sativus
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Radish, also widely known as "radish", is a widely cultivated vegetable, used for its food consumption, often in combination with lettuce and salad. Just like lettuce it is a vegetable that can be grown in small spaces, and for this reason it is one of those edible plants that is most recommended for those who are new to the cultivation of vegetables. In fact, a small space of land, even a corner of a vegetable garden, is enough for radish to develop easily. Depending on the seasons in which they come to light, the radishes are distinguished by type: therefore we find the radishes in summer, late season radishes, winter radishes, radishes of all seasons. Another distinction for these small vegetables concerns the color and shape of their root. In fact, it ranges from round red radish, with a more or less round shape and bright red color; radish half long at the top and white at the bottom of the root; the round white and red radish or the long white radish, the longest of the species and entirely white in color.
Radish belongs to the Cruciferous family, and is classified with the scientific term of raphanus sativus. It is often used as a crop product between two main crops and grows easily even several times in the same season and in the same soil space. Its consumption, it has been said, often takes place in the company of salads. In our country it is used almost exclusively raw, while in other cuisines it is also appreciated after cooking. As far as its nutritional properties are concerned, radish has a very low calorie intake: among the vegetables it is one of the least caloric, counting only about 12 calories per 100 grams of product. It is particularly supplied with vitamin B and vitamin C and therefore has important antioxidant and purifying properties, in particular helping for the activity of the liver and gallbladder.
Radish grows easily on different soils. However, its predilection goes to a soil rich in organic substance, loose, with good exposure, possibly without excessive stagnation of water. It does not develop adequately in conditions of excessive drought, as well as in particularly hot climatic conditions that affect the flavor of the plant giving it a very spicy taste
Fertilization interventions are not very useful for the growth of the plant due to the short duration of its growth cycle which does not exceed three weeks.
Radish pairs favorably with other vegetables such as peas, carrots, cabbage and beans. An interesting tip can be a pairing with lettuce, which causes the radish to grow with a much less spicy flavor. On the contrary, a close presence of the chervil plant will increase the spicy flavor of the radish.
The sowing must take place on a warm bed, broadcast in the first months of the year. It is also possible to obtain a crop throughout the year, sowing every two weeks or by broadcasting or in rows spaced about 15-20 centimeters apart. The quantity of seeds to be used is about 50 grams, or a little less, every 10 square meters of field. It can also be sown at the beginning of June until July in order to have a good winter harvest. In this case the rows must be separated by about 30 centimeters.
To be carried out mainly in the hottest and drought-prone months, since the radish plant needs adequate irrigation so as not to grow it with an excessively spicy flavor. It is also advisable to water frequently and regularly to avoid annoying splits of the roots.
The most common enemies for the radish are those typical of the Cruciferous family. In particular, the plant is very afraid of any attacks by the so-called “altica flea”, or soil flea. This is combated by wetting the leaves frequently, also using appropriate spraying of sevin.
The radish grows very early in the spring season, and is harvested from about three weeks after sowing for the earliest plants, up to a couple of months after sowing for the later ones. However, the harvest must not be too late, otherwise the plant will have a too spicy flavor and a very little crunchy texture. The later varieties of radish, those of the summer radish, which are harvested about two months after sowing, have hollow and spicier roots, as well as less crunchiness.
Radishes: Use in the kitchen
Radish is a typically red vegetable although it can be found in shades of white.
In cooking, radish is used to make various dishes. The recipes based on this vegetable are fresh, delicate and at the same time tasty! It can be eaten raw or cooked, according to our tastes, although in Europe it is used raw in salads or soups.
In fact, when cooked, radish loses most of its properties and also part of its flavor, very similar to that of turnips. This vegetable is also an excellent ally for those who follow slimming diets: in fact, it has very few calories (about 15 for every 100 grams), is rich in vitamins such as C and B9, in potassium, water and instead low in sodium. It therefore has diuretic effects and helps in weight loss.
How to plant radish: tips for planting radish for the garden
A great root vegetable to include in your garden is radish (Raphanus sativus). Radishes are great in salads and pastas. They don't take up much space in your garden or because you don't really need to plant a lot of them. So, if you're wondering, “How do I grow radishes,” here are some good tips for planting radish.
Diseases of radish
Radish belongs to the Brassicaceae family and is grown for its primary root, which is slightly spicy and crunchy. This annual or biennial herbaceous plant should be grown in full sun in loose, fertilized and well-drained soil.
The seeds can be planted as early as 5 weeks before the last average frost date for your area and then, for a continuous supply, sown every 10 days. Stop planting when the temperature exceeds 80 degrees F. (26 C.). Keep the plants constantly moist. Harvest the radishes when they are less than an inch in diameter by gently lifting them. It sounds simple enough, and it usually is, but even undemanding radishes can suffer from radish problems.
While most radish growth problems are primarily fungal in origin, here are the most common problems you may encounter.
- Damping - Damping (metal rod) is a common fungus found in the soil in areas of high humidity. Radishes are prone to seed rot or plant collapse when affected by damping. Don't plant the seeds in cold, wet soil and make sure the soil is well drained.
- Septoria leaf spot - Septoria leaf spot is a fungal disease that often affects tomatoes but can also affect radishes. This radish disease appears as yellow and gray spots on the foliage that resemble water spots. The spots have a gray center and become more circular as the disease progresses. Again, make sure the radish area has well-drained soil. Remove and destroy infected parts or plants, rotate crops and keep the garden free of other plant debris.
- Rot of fusarium is Downy mildew - Fusarium rot and downy mildew are fungal diseases that develop in warm soils. Late blight is also a radish disease caused by a fungus. Keep the garden free of debris, destroy infected plants, avoid aerial irrigation, improve air circulation and rotate crops.
- Black root - Black root is another possible problem for radish growth. This fungal disease causes yellowing of the leaves with brown, curled edges. The base of the stem darkens to a dark brown-black color and becomes slimy along with the slimy black roots. Be sure to modify the bed surface with abundant organic matter to improve drainage and practice crop rotation.
- Alternaria blight - Alternaria blight causes dark yellow to black spots with concentric rings on the foliage. The center of the ring often dries up and falls off, leaving the leaves with the appearance of a ball hole. Complete leaf fall may occur. Be sure to plant certified, disease-free seeds. Rotate crops. Water in the morning to allow the foliage to dry and apply the fungicide.
- White rust - White rust appears as white pustules on foliage and flowers. The leaves can curl and thicken. This particular fungal disease develops in drought conditions and is spread by the wind. Rotate crops and seeds without plant disease. Use a fungicide if the disease progresses.
- Club root - Club root is another fungal disease that mimics damage from roundworms. Leave stunted plants with yellow leaves that wilt throughout the day. The roots deform and swell with the gills. This pathogen can survive for many years in the soil. Adding lime to the soil can reduce fungal spores, but in general this disease is difficult to control.
- Scabies - Scabies is a disease that is also found on potatoes, turnips and rutabagas and causes brownish yellow root lesions and irregular spots on the foliage. This bacterial disease is difficult to control because it remains in the soil for long periods of time. Do not plant the area for 4 years.
Some insects act as disease vectors. Grasshoppers are one of these insects. They spread Aster Yellow, a mycoplasma disease which, as the name suggests, causes leaves to turn yellow and curl and slow plant growth. Destroys infected plants. Control grasshoppers and keep the garden free of weeds and plant debris. Aphids also act as vectors that spread the leaf curl virus. Treat as for the yellow aster.
Finally, to avoid the incidence of fungal diseases, radishes should be harvested before they reach their maximum size. They taste better and possible cracks are avoided, which can open a window to fungal diseases.
How to grow black radish
Grow black radishes like a common pink radish, although, as mentioned, they take longer to mature, about 55 days. Plant the black radish from mid to late summer (or in autumn in temperate climates) directly in the garden or start transplanting it indoors.
Space the plants from 2 to 4 cm away from each other, even more if you want to have larger radishes. Sow the seeds in well-drained, stone-free clay soil. Place the radish bed in an area that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight and a soil pH of 5.9-6.8.
Black radish care
Black radish care is minimal. These plants are simple as long as the soil is kept slightly moist. You can harvest black radishes when they are 3-4 inches wide. Healthy radishes will have uniform black to dark brown skin and will be firm and smooth. Avoid radishes that yield to a light squeeze as they will be concise.
You can then eat radishes immediately after harvest or store them in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Remove the vegetables and wrap the radishes in plastic first. If the radishes are a little too hot for your taste, peel, slice and salt them, then rise them with water before use.
Collection of radishes
Botanical name: Raphanus sativus
Radishes are a wonderful crop: easy to plant, quick to germinate, and almost foolproof as long as the soil and moisture conditions are adequate. Crunchy-delicious and nutritious too.
Most importantly, some radish varieties are ready to eat in as little as three weeks. Collecting radishes takes little more than bending over and pulling them out of the ground.
Some considerations will lead to maximum productivity from the radish crop, with minimal waste.
Most radishes fall into two main categories: fast-growing table radishes which are planted in early spring or late summer and usually ripen in 20-40 days, and so-called winter radishes which are planted longer. № often in late summer and take 50 or 60 days to ripen these winter radishes can be left in the ground even during the first autumn frost.
The most effective way to harvest radishes at the round table is to start harvesting them once they have reached the size of a marble. So, harvest the radishes every day or two until all the radishes are gone. If you've done a succession of seedlings - that is, planting a portion of the seed packet in a week or two for a longer-lasting yield - then harvesting could last for months.
A common mistake is to leave these fresh radishes in the ground for too long. Many varieties of radishes have a tendency to become woody or compact if left in the ground for too long. Hot weather contributes to this problem. The aroma can get too hot and the radishes can break. Harvest early and often!
The best time to pull radishes: after rain or watering. That way the ground is soft and the radishes slide off the ground when you pull the buds. Trying to harvest radishes from dry soil can be frustrating, as the green tops may break off, making it more difficult to extract the edible roots from the soil.
Some gardeners like to harvest radish seeds from their plants for the next year. In this case, be sure to grow only one variety of radish in the garden, so that the different radishes do not become contaminated and lose their distinctive features.
To harvest radish seeds, let the radishes grow flowers instead of pulling the radishes when they first ripen. Those flowers, once pollinated, will ripen into pods. Collect the stems so they don't fall out and burst. When the seed heads mature, cover them with lightweight burlap bags so the birds don't eat all the seeds. When the pods dry out, bring them indoors and store them in a cool, dry place until the next growing season.
Harvesting radish varieties such as daikon and green meat - the really large, slower growing Asian types - may require a garden fork. So as not to break these large roots in half, loosen all the soil around them, and then work the roots gently upward and shake off the dirt.
- How to plant radishes
- How to grow radishes
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