PRODUCTION OF RADISHES
By J. H. BEATTIE and W. R. BEATTIE, senior horticulturists, Division of Fruit
and Vegetable Crops and Diseases, Bureau of Plant Industry
The radish is a member of the well-known mustard family, being
related to cabbage, cauliflower, horseradish, kale, turnips, and other
members of this group of plants. It has been in cultivation for ages,
having been grown and used by the ancient Egyptians and Greeks.
The radish is one of the most popular home-garden vegetables, and
it is of considerable importance commercially. Available statistics
show that several thousand acres are devoted to it. In the Norfolk
section of Virginia and in Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas,
and other Southern States, where radishes are extensively grown as
a winter crop, it is not uncommon to find large fields of radishes, some
counties having several hundred acres.
Climatic and Soil Requirements
The radish is a cool-weather, short-season crop that will not withstand
extreme heat or drought. In the South its culture is carried on
during the cooler portions of the year. In the North it is grown during
spring and autumn, both summer and winter being too severe for it.
Radishes are grown to some extent in winter as a frame crop in locations
in the Central and Northern States where mild winters prevail,
and also on the Pacific coast.
Radishes are grown on practically all types of soil, but for the
winter and spring crop a light friable sandy loam is regarded as best.
For autumn culture a somewhat heavier soil such as a moist clay loam
is preferred. Soils that do not bake are best, especially for the spring
crop, as a crust interferes with the emergence of the plants and hinders
cultivation. The land should be entirely free from stones and other
obstructions that would interfere both with cultivation and the formation
of the roots. The preparation of land for radish culture is the
`same as for other root crops. It should be thoroughly pulverized to
a depth of 7 or 8 inches.
The growth period of radishes is short, and they require a soil with
plenty of readily available plant food. Well-rotted manure may be
used, but it is better to use the manure on some preceding crop perhaps
a year in advance.
Commercial fertilizer should be in a readily available form, because
the period of growth of the crop is short. A complete mixture contaimng
about 6 percent of nitrogen, 8 to 10 percent of phosphoric acid,
and 6 to 8 percent of potash, broadcast at rates of 1,000 to 1,500
pounds per acre, will usually give good results. In cases where
radishes follow some heavily fertilized crop it may be possible to
reduce the rate of application to the radishes.
In many sections the rather low value per acre of radishes may
make it uneconomical to make a heavy outlay for fertilizer. However,
good-quality radishes cannot be obtained from poor soil, and
it is useless to attempt to grow them without using enough fertilizer
to insure good growing conditions.
Issued March 198
Beattie, James H. (James Herbert), b. 1882. & Beattie, W. R. (William Renwick), b. 1870. Production of radishes.. Washington, D.C.. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1562/. Accessed July 4, 2015.