RADISHES IN POTS
Itching for some fresh spring flavours? Sow a quick crop of radishes in pots. Punch holes in the bottom of cheap plastic buckets, fill them with potting mix and space 20-30 seed evenly around the bucket. Don’t oversow as radishes always germinate well and you’ll end up with spindly seedlings all competing with each other.
Moisten the potting mix and pop a plastic bag over the rim of each bucket to trap in the humidity. Keep your buckets in a warm room for 7-10 days until you see the first signs of germination, then remove the bags and take your buckets out into the daylight. Bring them in at night for frost protection, and feed weekly with liquid fertiliser.
Your radishes will be ready to eat in 8 weeks. You can also eat the peppery leaves in salads as they will be quite tender.
So which radishes pass muster? We put 20 popular varieties to the test. Here are the top 10, rated for taste, crunch factor, and growth.
1. ‘SALAD CRUNCH’ Yates Seeds Ticked all the boxes with 100 per cent germination, large, round, bright red radishes. Firm, crunchy (not hot) flesh.
2. ‘GENTLE GIANT’ Yates Seeds A very close second to ‘Salad Crunch’. The fastest and the fattest crop with crisp roots up to 6cm in diameter.
3. ‘FRENCH BREAKFAST’ Egmont Seeds, Kings Seeds (in the organic seed range), Mcgregor’s and Yates. A five-star variety with crisp, firm, large, white-tipped roots.
4. ‘PING PONG F1’ Kings Seeds Though not perfectly round like ping pong balls, this neat white rooted variety proved to be fabulously crunchy.
5. ‘PINK BEAUTY’ Egmont Seeds, Kings Seeds A girly pink radish! The colour was true to its name, it had a very high yield and the flesh was firm and mild.
6. ‘SCARLET GLOBE’ Mr Fothergill’s A lovely looking radish that was bright red, round and crunchy. What more could you ask for?
7. ‘WHITE ICICLE’ Yates Seeds, Kings Seeds A white radish that’s quick to swell and has a strong, spicy flavour. The roots are large compared with the compact tops.
8. 'SPARKLER' Most suppliers As good as ‘French Breakfast’, but a bit pithy when mature. Egmont Seeds, Kings Seeds, Mr Fothergill’s, Niche Seeds.
9. ‘CABERNET F1’ Egmont Seeds This variety had good-sized, nicely shaped roots with firm flesh, but it was lower yielding than other types.
10. ‘FIREBALL Mcgregor’s Seeds One of the best for eating, this hybrid deserved a five-star rating for flesh quality, but was a bit lacking in quantity.