We all know that radishes are a type of vegetable in which are edible roots. Nevertheless, what we do not know is that they originated from Asia although its records are not clearly stated. Now in this article, I will talk about radishes and how they are grown by sharing my knowledge and experiences with you
Now, the story begins in the summer of 2016 when I went to visit my grandparents’ ranch and farmhouse. My grandparents are what we call “eat your own grow your kind of people”. And the best part about it, they have a 200 acre land with a ranch full of the livestock of every kind from pigs, cows, goats, sheep, and chickens.
On top of that, they have their bakery, they create their cheese, butter, and even wine. Therefore, they do not go for groceries shopping (unless it is stuff like toilet paper and other home appliances) but it is the groceries that come to them to purchase their products (P.S that is how they earn a living)
One day when we were having dinner, I developed an instant obsession with radishes. This was after I ate the radish roasted stew with ginger prepared in the curtesy of my grandmother. Just so you know, we also had a juicy filet mignon that dinner but I was blown away on how the garnish tasted. And so, I asked my grandmother “If I said it is your cooking, I would be lying because your cooking has always been on point but it doesn’t explain the taste of the radish.
How do you make it taste so good?” and that is when my grandmothers chuckled and looked at my grandfather and told me “The secret lays on hands” (Saying that while holding my grandfather’s hands). Then my grandfather looked at me and said: “Tomorrow, six am sharp we wake and not a minute late.” This was another way of my grandfather telling me that he will teach me how to grow radishes.
Long story short, my grandfather told me that any farmer can grow a radish but not every farmer can grow a sweet-tasting radish. He said radishes need the usual that is water, soil, nutrients, light, and fertilizer to grow. However, you may provide it with all these essentials and yet fail to grow sweet-tasting radishes. The secret lies within the measurements of each essential along with the weather condition.
Therefore, here is how they are grown stage by stage:
1. Soil preparation
My grandfather told me the first step in growing radishes is to prepare your soil. Now in soil preparation, he mentioned three important things that should be taken into consideration. The first thing is soil fertility in which is best treated by adding manure but in case of its absence, artificial fertilizers rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium might just do the trick. He said that he preferred manure because not only is it natural but it accelerates microbial activities in the soil making the soil more fertile. He also gave me a precaution that when using artificial fertilizers make sure the nitrogen amount in the package is minimal since too much of it makes the garnish taste better
The second thing to consider is the soil’s temperature. My grandfather told me that the soil temperature perfect for growing radishes is 4.4degrees Celsius. When I heard him saying that’s when I understood when he said “The secret lies within the measurement of each essential along with the weather condition”
The third thing to consider in which many people ignore is the soil PH. My grandfather told that the soil pH from 5.5 to 6.5 and not a little bit less or more
2. Seed cultivation
The best time to cultivate the seeds is during the autumn and spring weather since it is the time when the soil is cool. Now, “sowing garnishes is a science,” my grandfather said. Its growth is determined by how much space you give it to grow alone. Thus, when sowing garnish seeds you need to leave enough spaces between each seed (about 12 inches apart). This will allow the seed to grow well and not become shrimpy. Also, depth is important and hence, the seeds should be sowed exactly one and a half-inch deep.
Now mind you, a radish grows very fast and that is why weeding is not necessary. Once its seedling reaches two inches tall, you will be required to thin them to at least three inches of spacing. This is to ensure that the radishes aren’t inedible. To ensure constant supply, plant radishes every week and since they take up six to seven days to grow, you will have the benefit of harvesting garnishes every week.
“Remember when I told you about the measurement?” my grandfather asked. I replied, “Yes. Grandpa”. Now, when it comes to harvesting it is all about timing. He continued by saying that garnishes are harvested as soon as they are ripe meaning before they harden and turn bitter. He also said that it is important to harvest them early on, during the summer and spring because of the soil temperature.
Now, the process of harvesting them is easy because I saw him do it that day. He first plucked one of it from the ground and then he used his knife to brush out the soil attached to the garnish root, He then washed all the garnishes with a lot of water and later on he cut the garnish leaves from the garnish root and stored them in his large cooler room in separate shelves.
There it goes! My grandparent’s secret recipe in creating sweet tasty garnishes. After my grandfather taught me how to grow garnishes, I could not wait for the winter vacation to arrive because I wanted to come back here and plant them myself.
Thus, radishes are easy to grow but they require a lot of attention.