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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
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Radish question

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Post  Weatherkid 5/23/2011, 8:39 pm

I planted two squares of radishes in mid April, and they grew all according to the book. Today, they were about 8" to a foot tall, and some were even starting to start flower buds, so I decided to harvest them. When I did, the largest radish was about the diameter of a dime, and most of them hadn't developed any 'radish' at all.

What went wrong? All the plants looked strong and healthy, and it wasn't exceptionally hot. Last year the same thing happened.

Is there a way to make them look like the picture? I'd love to hear other peoples experiences/problems/solutions.

Thanks,

Weatherkid
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Post  kjenkins82 5/23/2011, 8:59 pm

I did a quick google and found three possibilities: radishes planted too thickly, temperatures too hot, or too much shade. Could any of these be the problem? Sorry you had a disappointing crop! Sad
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Post  donnainzone5 5/23/2011, 9:05 pm

I have the same problem, and wonder whether it's too little sunlight or too much nitrogen.
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Post  ashort 5/23/2011, 9:36 pm

What cultivar did you plant? Some are just smaller than others... my Cherry Belle's did not get very large at all - about the size you describe. I had a couple of German Radishes planted that ended up a big bigger than a quarter...
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Post  middlemamma 5/23/2011, 9:48 pm

Camprn will know which nutrient, but in previous threads she has said what was missing. It seems like root crops without a certain something won't produce the root, but will have lots of foliage. Lot's of help I am, eh? Radish question 491
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Post  cachecrashers4 5/23/2011, 10:42 pm

sounds like a lack of potassium which can be amended using wood ash
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Post  walshevak 5/24/2011, 3:47 am

I'm pretty certain that my mix was high in nitrogen when first mixed because of the amount of manures in my mix and also because the greens in my spring garden were so lush. Having said that, I was away for two weeks and not watching the garden and when I came back my French Breakfast Radishes had overgrown. I had been pulling them at about the size of my thumb, but the last ones were more the size of small to medium baking potatos. I don't know how they tasted, because I'm not that fond of radish. I took them and some excess greens to the food bank. This is just a comment, not a solution for what it's worth.

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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 5/24/2011, 9:07 am

I agree cultivar could be a possibility here, too. My cherry belles and champions look completely different. Mine don't get as big as the pictures, either. But remember, Mel tells us in the book NOT to shop for veggies by looking at the pictures.
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Post  Blackrose 5/24/2011, 9:14 am

@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:But remember, Mel tells us in the book NOT to shop for veggies by looking at the pictures.

But the pictures are so pretty!!! Razz

I guess it's a "can't judge a book by it's cover" thing. Just because it looks good, doesn't mean it will grow well in your climate or taste yummy to you.

Although, I will admit that I bought the Green Zebra Tomato seeds on looks alone. I thought they looked cool. I hope they're tasty! hungry
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Post  middlemamma 5/24/2011, 11:05 am

@Blackrose wrote:Although, I will admit that I bought the Green Zebra Tomato seeds on looks alone. I thought they looked cool. I hope they're tasty! Radish question 211713

Me too!I also bought the red zebra cherry ones!


As for the radish problem...I would think it might be a cultivar issue if it were anything BUT a radish. Plus I have seen threads like this regarding radish many times on the forum and it always seems to be a deficiency, for what that is worth.
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Post  pattipan 5/24/2011, 12:30 pm

My guess for the small radishes w/ large tops would be too much nitrogen. I had that result several years ago before I weened my garden from Miracle Grow. Rolling Eyes

I planted these Easter Egg radishes (a red, purple and white mixed variety) in April and I had the opposite results. Very sick looking, flea beetle eaten tops and wonderful looking radishes. I did not add anything extra to my Mel's Mix. We have had a LOT of rain, so I know they got plenty of water!

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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 5/24/2011, 1:02 pm

Wow, Patti. Yours could be in a picture. Those are beautiful.

However, what if we let them go a bit longer. Like carrots, they could just mature slower than the package says. I know mine say 22 days. I didn't dream of pulling them before at least 35 days. That's 5 weeks.

Mine never tasted "pithy" or "woody." They were great. I just let one of you lady's (one of you frequent posting females...in other words, I know it weren't no dood.) tips play out........don't pull until 25% of the radish is breaking the surface. It's an easy way to monitor the size without stressing.
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Post  Weatherkid 5/24/2011, 2:16 pm

Thanks for all the answers/comments/suggestions.

To my knowledge, they were always well watered and had ample of everything. Everything else growing has been virtually disease free. I've never heard about having too much nitrogen, but I'll look into that.

The same thing happened last year, so I'll try growing a different variety next year.

Thanks,

Weatherkid
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Post  itsablondething 5/24/2011, 6:24 pm

I had some tiny flowering ones,and some really big ones... many were small,many were normal size.

Radish greens are edible, I've heard. Haven't tried them yet! Since they seem a little jaggy, I would think they'd need to be cooked.
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Post  camprn 5/24/2011, 7:36 pm

@middlemamma wrote:Camprn will know which nutrient, but in previous threads she has said what was missing. It seems like root crops without a certain something won't produce the root, but will have lots of foliage. Lot's of help I am, eh? Radish question 491
LOL MM... a good neutral pH is desirable, loose soil, steady water, thinned well, as Cach said K (potassium) is required for root development, different radish varieties will mature at different rates with differences of as much as 3 weeks. Don't know what else to offer. Very Happy Everyone else had such good responses!
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Post  itsablondething 5/24/2011, 8:02 pm

While on the subject of radishes... how do you get them so they are nice and mild?

We've had a very wet, very cool spring, and yet all my radishes are firey hot. I've planted at least 5 different varieties.
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Post  kilda 5/25/2011, 9:41 pm

I had this exact problem with my radishes last year - all tops, no roots. Actually it happened with all my root crops (radishes, beets and carrots). From the reading I did it sounded like a lack of phosphorus might be the problem. I added LOTS of bonemeal to the areas where I planted root crops. Too early to say about the beets and carrots, but it worked for the radishes!
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