RADISHES IN POTS

NZ Gardener - Garden Diary 2018 - - Vegetable Trials -

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.

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