Growing Radishes From Seeds

French Breakfast radish
 seeds. This variety is
harvestable in as little
as twenty three days
from germination. 
Quick, name one vegetable crop that, from seed to harvest, finishes in less than a month! Obviously, it's not that hard once you've read the tile, but yes, radishes would be the answer we're looking for. These small root crops grow at astonishing rates that are sure to please children and even the most impatient of gardeners. As if that wasn't news enough, you'll also be please to know that growing radishes couldn't be easier, even in when grown in containers. This spring and autumn season, let the radishes grow! In this gardening guide, learn the basics of growing radishes from seeds.

Plant Identification - Radishes
  • Binomial Name - Raphanus sativus
  • Family - Brassicaceae
Basics for Gardening Radishes - 
  • Container - If you plan on growing radishes in a container, all you really need is a depth of six inches. Almost any container will be suitable for radishes, but you'll find that long, shallow and wide storage containers with large surface areas can provide maximum harvests. 
  • Well Draining Soil - Radishes aren't too picky about the soil that they're grown in, as long as it drains well. My recommendation is to choose a quality potting soil amended with perlite or vermiculite. This will provide enough nutrition and the proper drainage needed to keep radishes thriving.
  • Full Sun/Part Shade - Radishes will grow well with a minimum of six hours of full sunlight daily. While radishes love the early morning sunlight, the intense heat of the afternoon sun can sometimes be too much, and cause them to bolt. To prevent early bolting, plant radishes where they will receive full sunlight during the morning hours and be in shade/partial shade during the intense sunlight of the afternoon.
  • Spring and Autumn - For most gardeners, spring and autumn will be about the only times that you'll be able to grow radishes outdoors. As a cool season crop, radishes will thrive in temperatures ranging from 45-70°F, but quickly diminish if temperatures warm or cool beyond this. 
Planting Radishes - 
Newly germinated radish seedlings. (More pictures will
come as the season progresses.)
  1. Four to six weeks before the average last frost in your area, radish seeds can be sown. Using an all-direction planting method, plant radish seeds 1/2 inch deep and spaced one inch from each other. To avoid one large harvest, plant a few seeds weekly until early summer. This staggered planting will allow you to harvest radishes weekly. 
  2. Keep the soil moist while waiting for the seeds to germinate. Most radish seeds will have germinated in less than ten days, with some sprouting as soon as day two. 
  3. Once the radish seeds have germinated, keep the seedlings moist but not over watered. Since the seedlings have fairly small root systems at this point, I like to water once the top inch of soil has become dry. 
  4. About a week and half to two weeks from germination, the radish plants will need to be thinned. Using sterile scissors, cut the base of the weakest radishes off at the soil line. Thin the plants so that the remaining now stand two inches apart. 
  5. Reduce the watering so that you are doing so only once the top two inches of soil are dry. 
Harvesting Radishes - 
2013 Radish planter. With all-direction
planting, upwards of 60 radishes will be
grown in this planter. 
  1. Depending on the variety you're growing, the radishes will be ready for harvest in around 20-35 days from germination. 
  2. To tell if your radishes are ready for harvest, gently remove the soil around the tops of each plant. If the radish root top is around the size of a quarter, it's ready to be picked. 
  3. Avoid letting radishes get too large, as they will lose their flavor and turn woody. 
Though it may seems too good to be true, gardening radishes is seriously that easy! Just plant, water, watch, and in no time at all, you'll have dozens of delicious radishes ready for the eating. Thank you for reading this guide on growing radishes from seeds, and the best of luck to you on your crop this season! Please feel free to leave any questions or comments you have.