No garden? Not a problem. Radishes are one of the fastest-growing vegetables; it takes them only twenty-three days to grow from a tiny seed to a full-grown, ready-to-eat root.
Radishes are easy to grow and take care of and are extremely beneficial to your health. They’re one of the first vegetables in gardens ready for harvesting and can be harvested all year round if you decide to grow them in containers.
If this is your first time growing radishes in containers, check out our guide below to help you get started, and hopefully, you’ll have an abundant supply of healthy radishes all year round.
Can You Grow Radishes in Containers?
It’s possible to grow many different vegetables in pots or containers indoors. You can grow radishes in containers all year round. Container gardening allows you to have more control over diseases, pests, moisture, and other growing conditions that might affect them.
It’s also effortless to grow them in containers or pots, it doesn’t require any special skills, and is beginner-friendly for those who don’t have any previous gardening knowledge.
Different Radish Varieties
Radish is a small root crop from the Brassicaceae family and is a close cousin of other cole crops such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli. It’s also one of the oldest vegetables around and has been cultivated for centuries. They’re popular all around the globe and are grown in many different colors, shapes, and sizes.
These are some of the main varieties of radishes:
- Spring Varieties: They grow in the cooler temperatures of spring and autumn and are the most grown varieties here in the U.S. They’re relatively small and have a short storage life, so they’re best eaten fresh. Spring varieties include cherry belle, French breakfast, and white beauty.
The cherry belle variety takes the least time to fully grow from seeds, between 20–25 days until it reaches full maturity, while the others take from 25–30 days to be fully grown.
- Winter Varieties: Lesser known winter varieties radishes, such as daikon and black Spanish, are great for storage. They grow much larger than the spring varieties and last much longer if stored properly.
They’re normally planted in late summer to be harvested in autumn and need a bit longer to reach maturity. Black Spanish is fully grown in about 30 to 40 days, and daikon needs 50 days or more.
Which one to choose depends on whether you’d want to grow radishes to store them and use later, or you like to eat fresh radishes. We recommend cherry belle if you opt for spring variety and black Spanish if you opt for a winter one.
A Step-by-Step Guide on Growing Radishes in Containers
As mentioned before, radishes are one of the quickest growing vegetables; they’re straightforward to plant and take care of and grow well indoors if you give them all the needed growing conditions and care.
Here is our step-by-step guide on growing radishes in containers or pots.
Step 1: Pick a Suitable Size Container
Choosing a pot or container for growing radishes depends on the variety. We recommend that you opt for window boxes and troughs, which are ideal for growing radishes indoors on a windowsill or balcony.
For most regular-sized radish varieties, like cherry belle or French Breakfast, select a pot that’s at least 6 inches deep, as having such depth will ensure proper formation of the roots. You can opt for round or rectangle shapes of containers as well. Regular-sized varieties also don’t require more than 2 inches of spacing.
If you’re growing larger varieties, such as Daikon or Black Spanish, you’ll need at least a 12 to a 14-inch deep pot and 3 to 4 inches of spacing between the plants.
If you have a 12-inch wide container, you can grow six or seven smaller varieties of radishes or four larger radish plants in it.
Step 2: Find a Good Location
Radishes need at least 6–8 hours of sunlight per day, so it’s best to grow radishes in a sunny location; a windowsill that gets the most sunlight is the best pick. Although they can grow in partial shade, with only 4 to 5 hours of sunlight per day, this will most likely result in slower growth.
If you’re growing them in the summer or come from an area with very high temperatures, you can easily opt for partial shade instead.
Step 3: Prepare the Soil
Radishes aren’t really picky when it comes to soil, but they will grow best and prefer rich, well-draining soil that’s high in organic matter. You can either buy a good quality potting mix soil or make your own.
If you make the potting mix yourself, it should be a bit loamy and have no stones. Add a handful of compost or well-rotted manure to your potting mix as well; this will provide the soil with lots of organic matter that radishes need to grow best.
Step 4: Plant Radishes
To plant radishes, fill up your containers with potting soil and put them in a sunny location. Radish seeds are tiny, just scatter them on the soil and cover them with ½ inch of soil, or you can use a special seeding tool to sow radish seeds individually into the soil. You can buy radish seeds in any local store or gardening center.
Keep the radish seeds moist until they germinate; this usually takes somewhere between 5 to 10 days. Once most of the seedlings have sprouted, thin them out, so there’s one plant spaced every 2 inches apart from each other.
If you’re growing larger varieties of radishes, such as daikon radishes, you’ll need to place radish seeds a little further apart, as they tend to grow at least 3 inches wide. So make sure the radish seeds are at least 5 to 6 inches apart from each other.
You should plant daikon radish seeds or other larger varieties at least ¼ or ½ inches deep.
Step 5: Caring for Growing Radishes
When you’ve finished planting, you’ll need to properly take care of growing radishes to get the best harvesting results.
Radish is a cool-season crop, so the ideal temperature to successfully grow radishes in containers is between 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but you can grow them in a temperature range of 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit without any problems.
However, be careful with temperature during seed germination. The optimum temperature during seed germination should be between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything below or above that temperature will make seeds germinate slower.
Keep your soil evenly moist; make sure you water the radishes all over and never allow the pots to dry out completely, especially in the first few weeks. Be extra careful and check on your radishes at least every 2 to 3 days and add water if needed.
Moist soil doesn’t mean that you have to overwater them. Soggy soil can lead to rotten roots. Also, avoid watering the radishes irregularly; allowing the soil to dry out and then pouring on lots of water to create really moist conditions can lead to the roots cracking.
If you have followed our guide, you probably already added some compost or aged manure into the soil mix before planting the radishes; this is necessary if you want your radishes to grow properly and fast.
After two weeks, you can add some more fertilizer to promote growth. But take care as too much nitrogen can cause early foliage growth and lush radish tops, so it’s best to use a fertilizer with low nitrogen formula. You should provide fertilizer every 10 to 14 days for the best results.
Pests and Diseases
When you grow radishes in containers, you don’t need to worry much about pests and diseases. You might have some problems with aphids and flea beetles. If you find aphids on your radishes, just blast them with water, or if there are too many, you can use some insecticidal soap.
As with most root vegetables, root rot is a common disease with radishes; this can happen if your soil is too soggy and you overwater them.
Another common disease with radishes is downy mildew. You can avoid it with proper air circulation and by keeping the foliage dry.
Step 6: Harvesting Radishes
Some varieties of radishes, such as cherry belle and French breakfast, are ready for harvest in as little as 23–30 days. Others, such as daikon radishes, take between 50 and 60 days until they reach maturity and are ready to harvest.
When the time has passed, and you’re not really sure if your radishes are ready to be harvested, you can check them by uncovering the tops of each plant to determine their size. If the radishes’ tops are slightly thicker than your thumb, they’re ready to be harvested.
You can pull them from the soil, but be careful as the leaves tend to break off easily. Instead, gently pull them out directly from the top of the root.
After you pull them out, immediately separate the leaves from the root. If you don’t, the leaves will cause the root to lose water and shrivel.
You can pick and eat the young and green leaves; they’re edible and tasty and can be used in salads, soup, and other dishes.
Wash the radishes and store them in the fridge.
Storage of Radishes
Place the radishes in a plastic zip bag with a damp, folded paper towel at the bottom and put them in the fridge for lengthier storage. They’ll last several weeks packed and stored like this.
You can also freeze them. Cut and blanch them before you do so as they’re composed of mostly water, and freezing them without blanching can alter their texture slightly.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Radishes Will One Plant Produce?
One radish seed produces only one radish plant. If you want to have a continual harvest, you can sow a new crop every 14 days, as they grow and mature pretty quickly.
How Long Does It Take To Grow Radishes?
They’re fast-growing, and most of the radish varieties are ready to harvest in 4 weeks. Some larger types, such as black Spanish or daikon, can take a bit longer, from 50 to 60 days.
What Type of Soil Do Radishes Grow Best In?
Radishes grow best in fertile, well-drained, sandy soils rich in organic matter. It’s best to add some compost before you start planting them. Heavy soils need to be amended with plenty of compost to allow for good root development in radishes.
Do Radishes Need Sun or Shade?
Radishes need at least 6 hours of sunlight per day but can be grown in partial shade as well; this may result in slower growth. However, if you come from a very hot climate, it’s actually better to grow them in partial shade, as they don’t tolerate high temperatures very well.
Growing Radishes in Containers: The Conclusion
Radishes are one of the fastest-growing and oldest vegetables around and have been grown for centuries.
They’re straightforward to plant and take care of, so you don’t need previous gardening experience to plant them indoors, in containers or pots. All you’ll need to do is water them regularly, don’t let the temperature go above or below the recommended range, and fertilize them every 14 days.
Keep an eye on pests such as aphids, and just blast them with water or use insecticidal soap. Don’t overwater them, as soil that’s too soggy can lead to root rot.
If you follow our step-by-step guide, you will be enjoying your very own home-grown radishes in only 4 weeks.