Among vegetable crops in the Russian vegetable garden, radish takes up very little space. But in vain! After all, the daily use of a small amount of radish has a firming effect on the entire body.
Contrary to popular belief, a radish doesn't have to be bitter. Among the various types of this vegetable, there are also tender salad greens (green radish), which practically do not burn, rather piquant (black radish) and those from which tears appear in our eyes (white and purple varieties of radish). So you can pick up a radish for every taste.
And in order to properly grow a radish, you must remember the following expert advice.
* It is necessary to sow radish seeds strictly at certain times, otherwise the plants will bloom, and the roots will become rough and inedible. For summer consumption, radish seeds are sown in late April or early May, and for winter storage - in early July.
The thing is that a long daylight hours are needed for a radish to accelerate the formation of flowers, fruits and seeds necessary for reproduction. And the formation of root crops at this time is inhibited. Therefore, the longest days (mid-May to mid-July) are not suitable for growing it.
That is why, when sowing in the early stages, the plants quickly switch to stalking, as a result of which the yield of root crops is sharply reduced, since the plants quickly throw out the flowering arrow.
Then, when the length of daylight hours is reduced to 12-13 hours, the transition to flowering is delayed in the radish and favorable conditions are created for the formation of root crops.
* Radish is a light-loving plant. A high yield of root crops can be obtained only with uniform placement of plants in the garden and good illumination (do not confuse - illumination and daylight hours are completely different concepts). Even light shading has an immediate negative effect on the yield.
* Although the radish is a rather unpretentious plant and can grow on heavy clay soils, it is demanding on the fertility and looseness of the soil and gives a high yield only on fertile soils. The best soils for it are sandy loam and light loamy with a neutral or slightly acidic reaction of the soil solution, with a low level of groundwater, since the radish does not tolerate stagnant water. The depth of the arable layer must be at least 25 cm. Heavy clay and acidic soils are not suitable for cultivation. The taste of root crops greatly improves the introduction of ash into the soil.
Organic fertilizers must not be applied to the soil in an unpermised form, because this reduces the keeping quality and quality of root crops. The radish will grow ugly and taste mediocre.
* Radish does not tolerate air and soil drought well. With a lack of soil moisture, the roots become tough, bitter and slightly juicy, while the unpleasant rare "aroma" intensifies. And with strong fluctuations in humidity, root crops can crack.
* Radish does not tolerate thickening at all. It is necessary that from the first days of seedling emergence the distance between plants should be at least 2 cm, because young shoots react sharply negatively to thickening.
Therefore, in the phase of 2–3 true leaves, the plants are thinned out, leaving the stronger ones at first after 5–6 cm, and then after 10–12 cm and even more for large-fruited late varieties. If this is not done, then the thickened plantings are shooted and form flowering stems.
When thinning again, remove all weak and damaged plants. But leaving too much distance between plants also makes no sense, because you will get very large roots at the expense of their quality.
* You can not be late with the harvest of the radish. The radish is harvested at different times, depending on the variety. The early ones are harvested during the first half of the summer, the late ones (for winter storage) - before the onset of frost.
* Stale root vegetables of summer radish and root crops of winter radish that have fallen under frost become unsuitable for human consumption.
"Ural gardener" No. 30, 2016