Growing from a seed and caring for your seedling

14724073_10210785289889088_1146325837_oPrepare yourself! Radishes germinate quickly if planted at the right time of year and left in a sunny spot. Plant a few seeds in a little seedling pot atop a few cm of soil, and then cover with about 1 cm of soil. Out of a few seeds one of mine germinated within a couple of days. These plants will honestly grow so quickly you won’t have time to dwell on if you are caring for them properly. Once the seedling is about 5 cm tall re-pot it.

You will need to be an involved radish parent. This means, no holidays or planting the seed just before you go away or else you will probably come home to a wilted seedling. This would be a good plant to try with kids due to how quickly they sprout.

The radish seedling will sprout a tall, thin stalk with two baby heart shaped leaves atop the seedling. This will just continue to grow upwards for quite some time (to about 10-15 cm) before it starts producing other leaves. Keep your seedling well watered.

Re-potting seedlings

Re-pot the seedlings each into their own container (if you have multiple). For radishes you want to pick quite a large container, as they will take up a lot of space and require a lot of it to grow properly. Once you provide them with this, and place them in a sunny, sheltered position they should take off.

You will then continue to watch the radish grow over the next few weeks. The base of the stem will turn a faint pink and this is where the radish will eventually grow from. At this point add a bit more soil as you want to keep the radish under earth. The radish will also develop a large set of secondary leaves that it will start relying on for photosynthesis. On one of my seedlings I accidentally broke it’s baby leaves at this stage, and the radish still turned out fine.

Moving outdoors

When the seedling is about 10 cm tall it is probably time to move the seedling outdoors. Make sure you move this to a sheltered location, that will not receive very hot, direct sunshine or a lot of wind, cause your seedling will not cope with this. Keep watering the seedling once a day and keep an eye on how the seedling is coping with it’s new environment. If it seems to be struggling bring it back indoors and leave on a sunny windowsill or in the kitchen.

When moving outdoors this will need to be after the last frost, if you live in an area that gets frosts (as I do). Radishes are summer vegetables and so when growing they like the temperate spring weather, not the deathly cold frosty mornings of winter.