Radishes – Poor Harvests

Q: Every spring I plant radishes and always have the same problem. The plants look beautiful and lush but only about one in ten turn into radishes. The rest just have a red stem going into the ground.

A: This is a common radish complaint but the causes are multitudinous: too much fertilizer, too little sun, wrong variety, too much water or not enough space between plants. Make sure you’re planting spring radish varieties, like ‘Cherry Belle’, ‘Burpee White’ or ‘Icicle’. Plant in mid- to late February. Space seeds a half-inch apart and a quarter-inch deep. When leaves emerge, immediately thin the plants to one to two inches apart. Little fertilizer is needed if the spot was gardened the previous summer. You’ll increase your chances for success by planting more radish seeds every fourteen days until mid-April.