Radish and Mooli
Radish is a fast easy crops to grow, making it an ideal starter plant for getting children interested in gardening.
From sowing to eating they can take as little as three weeksto mature.
With successional sowings, and appropriate varieties one can crop all year round.
There are many varieties of radish, the summer varieties should be grown quickly for best results.
They prefer a sunny, fertile, well-drained soil, enriched with well-rotted manure / compost.
Radishes are members of the brassica family and as such they are liable to attacks from cabbage root fly, flea beetle and clubroot so treat accordingly.
Due to their short growing period one normally ignores this fact when planning a rotation plan.
Slugs and snails can also be a bit of a problem.
Make early sowings in cold frames or under cloches.
Keep the plants well ventilated once they have germinated.
Give added protection by covering with agricultural fleece or similar during frost.
For continuity, make successional sowings outdoors, at 7-10 day intervals, sowing the seeds thinly in 12mm (½") deep drills.
If ground space is limited they can be grown in batches in containers.
They should germinate within a week in the summer months and be ready for picking about two weeks later.
Do not let the roots become overcrowded, otherwise they may make foliage rather than root growth, thin the seedlings as necessary.
In hot summers they benefit from some shade and can be grown in the shadow of other crops.
Keep the bed well watered, and pull the roots as soon as they are large enough, the texture and taste is better in young roots.
To leave them longer often results in them becoming woody or hollow centred.
Mooli raphanus sativus is a large form of radish that is known as daikon in Korea its place of origin.
The white root can grow quite large, and has a milder flavour than other radishes.
It is crunchy with a faint peppery tang, and it looks rather like an overgrown carrot with leaves similar to radish.
Raw mooli makes a great addition to vegetable platters and salads, plus it is often cooked in stir-frys as an alternative.
It requires similar growing conditions to other radishes, however it can remain in the gound much longer and is frost tolerant making it a useful crop to grow for a late supply of radish.
Because of this attribute it can be sown somewhat later than other radishes e.g. Week 25-26 is early enough unless you require an earlier crop.
If an early crop is reqired sow them at the same time as summer varieties.
The roots can taste quite bitter if they are exposed to light as they grow, applying a mulch over the plants should eliminate this situation.