Planting carrots and radishes together

Radish Companion Plants: What Are The Best Companion Plants For Radishes

Radishes are one of the quickest producers, often garnering a crop in three to four weeks in spring. Later strains provide roots in six to eight weeks. These plants are tolerant of interplanting provided they are not shaded out by taller species. Many crops make excellent companion plants for radishes, filling in after the roots have been harvested. Installing plants that grow well with radishes can maximize use of the garden bed while harnessing the unique repellent properties of the pungent radish.

Plants That Grow Well With Radishes

Companion planting has been practiced for centuries and was a common Native American practice illustrated perfectly in the “three sisters” method of cropping where corn, squash and beans were planted to support each other, enhance nitrogen, utilize space and shade weeds. Each plant has something to offer the other and radish companion plants can fulfill the same needs. Planning is a key feature in intercropping where space, size, growing conditions and nutrient needs are all considered for a seamlessly compatible garden.

Due to the radish’s quick production and ability to be serial planted, other plants that grow more slowly and need a longer season to produce can be used to complete the garden bed. As long as the radish crop isn’t severely shaded, these little roots will grow at the feet of many species of plant.

Peas and leaf lettuces are started in early spring as soon as soil is workable. This is also the time to sow radish seeds. The slower growth of the peas and lettuce allows radishes to develop without serious interruption, with harvest time well before the other two vegetables.

Plants which will not be ready for many months, such as tomatoes and peppers, can also be intercropped with the earlier radish harvest.

Other Radish Companion Plants

Radishes will also help repel cucumber beetles, which means cucumbers, with their long growing season requirements, are also good companion plants for radishes.

Plants that help radishes might be strong smelling herbs, nasturtium, and species in the allium family (such as onions).

Pole beans and sweet peas, which rise high above the garden on stakes, help fix nitrogen in soil and enhance production while juicing up the soil for other high nitrogen feeders like lettuces.

Be cautious when planting near brassicas (like broccoli), however, as radishes can attract flea beetles, which will damage this plant’s leaves. Hyssop is also not compatible with radishes.

Considerations for Radish Companion Planting

As you plan your garden and want to incorporate radishes, consider some issues. First, are the seeds spring, summer or winter forms?

  • Early season radishes will be best combined with early season vegetables or those that will not get too large in a few weeks to compete with the low growing roots.
  • Summer varieties take longer to mature and should be installed where sunlight will reach them for up to eight weeks. This negates certain of the larger, long season crops as radish companions.
  • Winter cultivars need a longer period as well but can be installed with late season plantings of spinach, kale and other leaf crops.

Depending upon your season, you may also get another crop of the cool weather darlings such as snow and snap peas.

Radishes also have attractive foliage in many cases and are useful in annual beds and borders as visual companions to flowers and herbs.

Intercropping Radishes

“Companion Planting is the growing together of all those elements and beings that encourage life and growth; the creation of a microcosm that includes vegetables, fruits, trees, bushes, wheat, flowers, weeds, birds, soil, microorganisms, water, nutrients, insects, toads, spiders, and chickens.” – John Jeavons, How to Grow More Vegetables Than You Ever Thought Possible

Radishes serve as a general aid in repelling many insects and draw aphids, Flea Beetles, and some other pests away from peppers, squash, and cucumbers.

Planting radishes in a bed that hosted a cole crop in the last three years under some circumstances is not advisable. Cole crops are cool weather brassica and mustard family plants. Radish is closely related to these plants and shares many of the same problems. Although they shouldn’t go in succession with one another, there are circumstances when there are advantages to inter-cropping them.

The primary problems inflicted on radishes by cole crops is cabbage Root Maggot, If you’ve had problems with this in the past keep them apart. Beneficial Nematodes are very effective in controlling root maggots. Incorporating wood ash into the soil also helps to prevent the occurrence of root maggots.

Carrots

Radish can be planted with carrots , the radish will mature very quickly and loosen the soil for the carrot seeds as they germinate. The radishes will already be harvested when the carrots are still in pampers.

This same scenario works with other root crops such as beets , parsnip and even legumes.

Peas

Radish and peas can be inter-planted. The radish will deter some of the pests that feed on peas.

Lettuce

“Lettuce grows well with ….carrots, and it has long been considered good to team with radishes.” Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening

Lettuce interplanted with radish seems to make radishes more tender, radish which matures much quicker than lettuce will help lure early season pests away, flea beetles in particular.

Radish

Description

Radish, Raphanus sativus, is an herbaceous annual or biennial plant in the family Brassicaceae, grown for its edible taproot. The radish plant has a short hairy stem and a rosette (ground level horizontal and circular leaves) of oblong shaped leaves which measure 5–30 cm (2–12 in) in length. The top leaves of the plant are smaller and lance-like. The taproot of the plant is cylindrical or tapering and commonly red or white in color. The radish plant produces multiple purple or pink flowers on racemes which produce 2–12 seeds. The reddish brown seeds are oval, and slightly flattened. Radish is generally grown as an annual plant, surviving only one growing season and can reach 20–100 cm (8–39 in) in height depending on the variety. Radish may also be referred to by the name of the cultivar and names may include Chinese radish, Japanese radish or oriental radish. The origin of the radish plant has not been determined but they are found growing native from the Mediterranean to the Caspian Sea.

Radish flowers
Radish
Radish flower
Radish plants
Radish seed pods
Harvested radishes ‹ ×

Uses

The radish root can be eaten fresh in salads or cooked with other ingredients such as meat. The leaves of the plant are also edible and can bu used as a salad green.

Propagation

Basic requirements Radishes are fast growing cool-season vegetables that grow very well in cool moist climates. the optimum temperature for the growth of radishes is between 10 and 18°C (50–65°F) and they grow best in a well-draining sandy loams which are rich in organic matter with a pH between 5.8 and 6.8.. Radish should be grown in full sun to part shade. Propagation Radish is propagated directly from seed into a prepared bed. Seeds should be planted in late winter to early spring for the first spring crop and plantings can be staggered to provide a continuous harvest. A small amount of nitrogen may be applied to the soil prior to planting (up to 60 kg per hectare). Seeds should be planted at a depth of 1 cm (0.5 in), allowing 2.5 cm (1 in) between individual plants and a further 30 cm (12 in) between rows. Commercial producers may drill seeds using planting rates of 30–40 kg per hectare. General care and maintenance Radishes will benefit from the addition of small amounts of nitrogen fertilizer at regular intervals spaced over the growing season. Seedlings should be kept uniformly moist as they develop, but not wet. Weeds should be carefully removed from around the plants. Harvesting Radishes usually reach full maturity between 30 to 50 days after sowing. They should be harvested promptly as over-mature radishes become woody and develop a bitter taste. The plants may be topped by cutting back the leaves to a height of 7–10 cm (2.8–3.9 in) prior to harvesting, or whole plants can be pulled from the soil. Roots should be washed prior to storing to increase longevity.
Anderson, C. R. Radishes. University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. Available at: http://www.uaex.edu/publications/pdf/FSA-6075.pdf. . Free to access. CABI Crop Protection Compendium. (2012). Raphanus sativus (radish) datasheet. Available at: http://www.cabi.org/cpc/datasheet/46796. . Paid subscription required. Daniels, C. (2013). growing radishes in the home garden. Washington State University Extension. Available at: http://ext100.wsu.edu/benton-franklin/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2014/04/Radishes-FS127E.pdf. . Paid subscription required.

The best radish varieties to grow

Radishes are incredibly easy to grow, as they tolerate most soil types and are quick to crop.

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They’re delicious eaten raw, offering a fiery burst of flavour to salads. There’s a wide variety of cultivars to choose from, ranging from near spherical red-and-white roots, to long, thin white radishes, also known as mooli.

As they’re so quick to grow, you can sow radishes continually throughout spring, summer and early autumn for continual harvests. They’re generally ready to harvest after around four weeks.

More veg content:

  • How to sow radishes in gaps (video)
  • How to grow veg plugs
  • Tips for a low-maintenance veg plot

Discover nine of our favourite radish varieties to grow.

‘French Breakfast’

‘French Breakfast’ is a popular old variety with crisp, crunchy, cylindrical roots with a strong, peppery flavour.

‘Ilka’

‘Ilka’ is a Russian heirloom variety that can grow to a diameter of 7.5cm without becoming pithy.

‘Mirabeau’

‘Mirabeau’ has bright red, cylindrical roots with pretty white tips. Roots have a crunchy texture and a good peppery flavour.

‘Stela’

‘Stela’ has crunchy, globe-shaped roots with bright red skins and white, crunchy flesh.

‘Plum Purple’

‘Plum Purple’ has an unusual bright purple skin and white flesh. Its flavour is sweet but spicy.

‘Rougette’

‘Rougette’ has globe shaped roots with bright red skins and crisp, succulent flesh.

‘Scarlet Globe’

‘Scarlet Globe’ is an easy variety to grow, with bright red, sperical roots with white, crisp flesh and a mild flavour.

‘Tarzan’

‘Tarzan’ is a good variety to raise early. Its round, crimson red roots remain non-pithy for weeks.

‘Tsukushi Spring Cross’

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‘Tsukushi Spring Cross’ is a mooli radish, an Asian version of the European radish. Roots are long and cylindrical and come in a variety of colours. ‘Tsukushi Spring Cross’ has peppery roots suitable for winter storage.

Whether you’re growing radishes in containers or your garden, this list of 20 Types of Radishes is very useful.

Radishes come in many sizes, shapes, and colors like black, white, red, pink, green and purple. Taste is different as well, and from that picking the best radish variety to grow is difficult. For your help, we’re listing 20 types of radishes and popular varieties. You can plant them and experiment, which one you like. If you’ve any favorite, mention that in comments.

1. Watermelon Radish

Watermelon radish is slightly sweet and less peppery than regular radishes. Outside, it is between beige and white and a little green. But as the name promises, inside, its color recall a watermelon, a white border around the bright pink. It’s a type of daikon and takes approximately 50-60 days to reach maturity after planting. 3 inches of spacing is sufficient for its growth.

2. French Breakfast Radish

The French Breakfast radish is red, more elongated than round radishes and with a white rounded tip. It’s mildly acrid and has a pleasant crispy taste. It is one of the early maturing varieties of radish, ready to harvest in about 25-30 days after planting the seedlings.

3. Pink Radish

The radish varieties like Pink beauty, Pink Celebration, Pink Summercicle, and Lady Slipper are known for their beautiful pink skin color and has a rounded or slightly elongated shape. Suitable for container gardeners, all these small and early maturing varieties can be harvested just in a month after planting.

4. Malaga Violet

If other radish varieties are too spicy for you, its sweet and mild taste with a very earthy flavor will attract you. This polish variety has a round shape and unique deep purple color. This is also an early maturing variety and takes 30-40 days to get ready.

5. White Hailstone Radish

White outside and inside, it’s one of the best-tasting radishes– The firm flesh is mildly pungent, crispy and juicy. Harvest this variety in just 30 days and leave space of around 3-4 inches for each seedling to grow.

6. Zlata Radish

This unusual yellow radish has a brown-yellow, oval-shaped skin that makes it look like a small potato. It has a strong spicy radish flavor. Get ready to harvest in a mere 30 days.
The plant has small tender leaves, perfect for salads and other green recipes. This fact also makes it suitable for container planting in reduced planting distance.

7. Cherry Belle

This round radish variety is one of the most common among gardeners. The taste is crispy, sweet, and pungent, good for salads. This early maturing variety can be picked as soon as in 23-27 days after the germination.

8. Daikon White Radish

This large size white radish can be 14 inches long. It has nice, delicate, and crispiest flavor with slight sweetness. It takes time to mature, around 60 days. You’ll need to provide at least 4 inches of spacing to grow them.

9. White Icicle

The radish, white icicle has cylindrical 5-6 inches long root, similar to daikon. It tastes best when picked young, can be eaten alone or use in salads and recipes. It takes around 30-40 days to reach maturity.

10. Round Black Radish

Growing black radish varieties can be really fun as they look different and taste unique. The shape of the round variety is spherical, but the flesh is creamy white, and the flavor is strong and pungent as compare to red and white radish cultivars.

11. Chinese Rose

The Chinese Rose radish has an elongated shape, it’s purple-red on the outside, and white with pink veins on the inside. Particularly resistant to lower temperatures, it develops early even in autumn.
It has an extremely particular taste, which alone is worth the experience of cultivation: initially, it appears on the palate as a delicate taste, but suddenly the senses are flooded with a surprising pungent sensation.

12. Horseradish

If you are looking for a radish that won’t leave a bitter taste in your mouth, horseradish is the one for you. Although it’s the roots which are sold in the market the greens are also edible. The best season to grow them will be in the fall or winters and for use in springs they can be stored in the fridge.

13. Early Scarlet Globe

You’ll be hard pressed to find a much easier and fast harvesting variety of radish than this one. Ready for harvest within 25 days it’s globe-shaped variety and comes under round radishes. The outer surface is exotic scarlet red with crisp white flesh on the inside.

14. Helios

Named after the Greek god of the sun, Helios is another round radish variety. This small sized plump radish grows to about 2-3 inches and is bright yellow. Unlike most other radishes they are sweet tasting and goes great with salads.

15. Easter Egg Radish

Commonly sold under this name because of the shape resembling easter eggs, this variety of radish is available in an array of white, pink, red, purple, and lavender color. To avoid them from turning hard and bitter harvest when they reach a size of one inch in diameter.

16. Lady Slipper

It gets this unique name because the shape somewhat resembles slippers. The bright and shiny pink color of this radish appeals to the eyes. The inner flesh is white, crispy and sweet which appeals to the tastebuds.

17. Long Scarlet Radish

As the name suggests this radish quite long tapered root and can reach a length of 18 centimeters. The green top is short as the plant’s energy is redirected towards the growth of roots. The scarlet red roots and inner white flesh possess a flavor which is not spicy or pungent but mild and sweet.

18. Long Black Spanish

This is another variety of black radish but instead of being round its black root can be around 9 inches in length. Despite the difference in shape the flavor and nutrition value remain the same in both round and long varieties. You can either steam, stir-fry or braise the inner flesh for edible use.

19. Cherriette Radish

It’s hybrid radish which unlike its other companions does well in warm weathers. The smooth and shiny red roots are rounded with a diameter of two inches when mature. Whether it’s bunching or pithing, this sweet tasting radish holds well.

20. Plum Purple

The color of this variety ranges from purple to burgundy. Growing up to one to two inches in diameter, the sweet, crispy flesh is a treat to both eyes and tongue. Because of the vibrant color, it can be used for dressing buttered toast or crackers. Serve these bright, crunchy delights all on their own, with a bit of butter and salt as the French like, or sliced and tossed into salads.

Also Read: Growing Radishes in Pots

There are a variety of radishes available to grow in your vegetable garden. Use summer radishes to add color and bite to salads. In winter, radishes can be cooked to enliven soups and stews.

Summer radishes

Globe or round ‘Sparkler 3’, with a white tip, ‘Scarlet Globe’, ‘Cherry Belle’ and ‘Juliette F1’ are reliable heavy croppers and will add a little decorative zest to summer salads.

© Stockbyte / ThinkstockKnow the difference between summer and winter radishes and enjoy them even more!

Intermediate ‘Flamboyant Sabina’ and ‘Fluo F1’ are dependable intermediate varieties. If you want a pure white-skinned radish, grow the intermediate ‘White Icicle’.

Winter radishes

Winter radishes are usually long, but the Asian radish ‘Mantanghong F1’, with its magenta flesh and ‘Black Spanish Round’, with black skin are round. ‘Mino Early’ has long white succulent roots that make a tasty addition to winter salads, soups and stews. Sow all these in summer for a winter harvest.

If you are looking for strong flavor, try ‘Rosa 2’. For length and flavor, grow the Japanese radish ‘April Cross F1’. It has a crunchy texture and mild flavor and can be left in the ground until you are ready to harvest. It is also known as mooli radish.

Whichever type of radish you choose to grow, make sure to give them the proper care so they can flourish.

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