I’ve recently rediscovered the wonders of growing and eating radishes. Picked straight from the garden and eaten raw, they’re a great addition to any salad. I first decided to grow them for Growhampton’s grand opening of The Hive Café in May. I wanted produce to share with visitors and radish, which grows from seed to harvest in approximately four weeks, fitted our schedule perfectly. On the day I created some beautiful canapés using radish as the star ingredient. Since then there has been significant demand from our customers and they are selling like the proverbial hot cakes at our weekly market stall While I think about it, The Hive is open to all Wandsworth Guardian readers every week day from 8.30am – 4pm. Come in through the main entrance of the University and our security team will happily point you the right way. The farmers’ market runs every Thursday at the café from 1-2pm.
Here are my top five tips for growing radish:
1. Buy rainbow radish seeds and you will grow a selection of white, red, purple and yellow radishes. They look visually stunning on the dinner table and all taste a little different.
2. Prepare your soil and space seeds one cm deep and 2-3cm apart.
3. Cover seeds with soil and water in.
4. Water regularly and harvest within three to five weeks.
5. Harvest as soon as the roots mature as oversized radish will crack and become tough and woody.
You will be amazed at how easy and quick it is to grow. In fact when a year three class from The Alton Primary School in Roehampton visited Growhampton’s growing spaces on a field trip we planted radish seeds. I gave them a tour of the beds and polytunnel before each one had the opportunity to plant radish seeds in their own pot which they took home to nurture. Their teacher said the children had an absolutely brilliant time and couldn’t stop talking about it.
Next week I’ll be talking about dealing with slugs and snails.
Joel Williams is the Grower for the University of Roehampton Students’ Union’s Growhampton project
Top Tip for the week: Radish makes a great companion plant for other crops. Probably because of its pungent odour, radish deters pests. You can therefore use radish to protect a main crop of say cucumber or lettuce.