The expression: "Horseradish - radish is not sweeter" - is known to many. However, rarely does anyone think about how true it is and what kind of radish are we talking about? Let's try to figure it out.
Wild radish, or field (Raphanus raphanistrum) feels great in a meadow, forest edge, wasteland, along the roadside. In June, its bright yellow thickets delight the townspeople who have escaped into the “fresh air”. Another thing is florists and gardeners, for whom a cute herbaceous plant only interferes - the field radish does not give either juicy leaves or root crops, but quickly captures the site: if it is neglected, it seems yellow from its flowers. In addition, it is on the wild radish that gluttonous pests of cabbage ornamental and vegetable plants find refuge: cruciferous flea, cruciferous bug, cabbage whiteworm caterpillars and scoops. And if they had to choose, many farmers would prefer field useful horseradish to radish.
Until recently, from a historical point of view, radishes were also radish (Raphanus sativus var. radicul). Moreover, radish is pollinated with field radish, and because of the large number of transitional forms, sowing radish and radish are still not always possible to distinguish from each other.
Radish is one of the very first spring vegetables. It contains many trace elements, dietary fiber, essential oils, has a delicate taste and pleasant aroma, and can be used to prepare a variety of snacks. Therefore, it hardly makes sense to compare it with horseradish.
Sowing radish (Raphanus sativus) includes two subspecies: European and Asian. The latter belongs to the oilseed radish (Raphanus sativus var. oleifera), which is inappropriate to put in a row with horseradish. And not only because this oldest agricultural crop of East Asia does not produce root crops: various national dishes are prepared from its greens in China, Vietnam, Korea. And in Europe, oilseed radish is cultivated in a mixture with legumes, mainly with seradella, for animal feed, as a green fertilizer (green manure) and an oilseed crop.
Radish plants are 100-150 cm high, branch strongly, and already at the base, so it is difficult to distinguish the main stem, well leafy. The oil radish blooms for a long time (about a month), giving many loose racemose inflorescences, with white or white-purple flowers. It is they that make it possible to distinguish between oilseed and wild radish plants. It is almost impossible to do this before flowering. Therefore, for sowing, it is important to use seeds that are free of impurities.
The fruit is a swollen pod with 2-5 cylindrical seeds of light brown and red-brown color. The weight of 1000 relatively large seeds ranges from 8.0 to 14.0 g. Oil-bearing radish seeds accumulate up to 50% fat, which, when pressed, produces delicate edible vegetable oil. Oil radish withstands a short drought, requires a moderate amount of moisture, therefore it grows better on light and medium loams, is resistant to late frosts, and low positive temperatures at the beginning of the growing season only contribute to greater flower formation. In our country, five varieties of technical oil radish (Brutus, Ivea, Compass, Snezhana, Tambovchanka) and one - vegetable, or salad (Eastern Express).
Chinese radish (lobo, forehead) and japanese (daikon) - the most important vegetables of China, India, Japan, Korea, Vietnam - also representatives of the Asian subspecies of sowing radish.
Lobu (Raphanus sativus subsp. sinensis) also called "sweet radish", because it accumulates a lot of carbohydrates, and few mustard oils. Therefore, it is practically devoid of a bitter-spicy aftertaste. Root crops at the forehead are large, often weighing up to 0.5 kg. Their shape is round, oval or elongated. Skin - white (Ace Spring), white with a green head (Oktyabrskaya), green (GreenGoddess), pink (Severyanka, Ladushka), red (Raspberry Ball, Glow, Lady), red-violet (GorgeousMoscow suburbs). The pulp can also be white, glassy, pink, green, orange. For example, near the lob Margelanskaya both the skin and the flesh are green. Radish Hostess - the oval root vegetable is green, and the tail and flesh are white. Have a reddeck Sultan and Esmeralda the roots are cylindrical, with a white skin, slightly light green at the head, and white flesh. Hybrids are amazed with an unusual combination of colors: Misato Rose (green peel and raspberry pulp), F1 Red Meath (greenish white skin and beetroot pulp), F1 Granddaughter (green skin and white flesh with pink concentric rings), F1 Start (red-orange pulp and white-green skin). The varieties Pink ring, Troyandova, Misato Red, Okay red skin and white flesh, so these radishes look like large radishes.
The similarity is further enhanced by the fact that the roots of the lob are very delicate, with a pleasant texture. However, they can not only be eaten fresh in salads, but boiled, salted and pickled.
Another representative of the Asian subspecies is daikon, Japanese radish - less aromatic than radish, but more pungent than the forehead, although it also contains few mustard oils. But daikon is sweet compared to horseradish.
Unlike the forehead, the daikon has a shorter growing season. However, the main difference between this radish is large root crops (in fact, the word daikon is translated into Russian - a large root): they can grow more than 60 cm in length and weigh 300-500 g, and sometimes even several kilograms. For example, in Japan, the daikon root vegetable variety Sakurajima reaches 30 kg and even 40 kg.
In addition, the roots of this radish subspecies are predominantly white. Therefore, daikon is also called white radish. Daikon is eaten raw in salads, stewed with seafood, served as a side dish with sashimi and fried fish, miso soup is cooked with it, salted, pickled in vinegar, fermented with a special Japanese method of takuan, young leaves are used as a leafy vegetable.
Daikon has several varieties - autumn-winter, spring-summer, daikon minovase, aka-daikon. In our country, the first three are more common.
Varieties Minovase, Tokinashi, Caesar, Terminator, The emperor, The Dragon, Big bull, Dubinushka, Japanese white long grow well in most regions of Russia. But in the heat and when the plants do not have enough light, for example, when they are sown in the shade or it is a cloudy summer, the roots do not grow in length, they remain short. Elephant fang feels better in the south of the country.
Thanks to the development of international contacts between amateur gardeners, many other daikon varieties that are not included in the State Register of Varieties are brought to Russia. According to available data, in the middle lane, the highest yield (8-10 kg / sq.m.) Are distinguished by: Daikushin, TsukushiHaru, GreenNeck, Miyashige, BluSkye, Haruesi, Dicey and Harutsuge... It should be borne in mind that varieties in which the root crop protrudes above the soil surface must be grown on heavy soils (Shiroagari, Shogoin) and medium loams (Miyashige, Tokinashi). Daikon with deeply sunk roots (Nerrim, Ninengo) yields only on light soil. Japanese radish gives the greatest yield of root crops when sown in late June - early July. The last time for sowing it, at which root crops have time to grow in the middle lane, is the first five-day week of August. However, the average weight of a root crop will not exceed 300 g. It is interesting that, unlike European radish, daikon root crops, even flowering ones (with a flower arrow), remain juicy, do not lignify and retain good taste. Therefore, it is possible to sow daikon from the third decade of May, and remove large root crops in August, removing first of all those plants that have begun to stem.
Daikon is more picky about soil moisture than the forehead. Regular abundant watering and loosening of row spacings is the main condition for obtaining large root crops.It is also necessary to feed the plants in the phase of the first true leaf (nitrogen) and during the formation of a rosette of leaves (phosphorus and potassium). In greenhouses and through seedlings, it is advisable to grow varieties from varieties with rounded, short oval or cylindrical roots, for example Sasha... Moreover, the containers must have a height of at least 10 cm, otherwise the root will begin to branch
As you can see, Asian radishes have many advantages over horseradish. There remains one more subspecies of sowing radish - European radish, the roots of which are inferior in size to the radish of the Chinese subspecies. In Western Europe, the summer radish variety is preferred. And first of all, varieties with a white color of the root crop, then pink, and last of all, with a red peel. Summer varieties of the European radish subspecies are annual plants: in the same year, after the formation of root crops, they form a flowering stem and give seeds. They have a short growing season (40-80 days), root crops grow up to 200 g in weight and are not suitable for long-term storage. Therefore, in the Russian list of varieties there are only 5 varieties of summer European radish - Agatha, Delicacy, Maiskaya, Munich Beer, Odessa 15... Summer radish is sown during May. With late sowing, the plants go into bloom. Since summer radishes have a denser pulp, it is less damaged by wireworms. Summer radish is sharper than forehead, but much softer than European winter radish. So the summer radish of the European subspecies surpasses horseradish in sweetness.
Who can compare with horseradish in terms of sharpness is the European winter radish, which was especially popular in the past centuries in our country. This is explained by the fact that she has a biennial plant: in the first year of life it forms a root crop, in the second - flowering shoots and seeds. And in order to successfully overwinter in the soil, the root crop accumulates mustard oils. For the same reason, the root crops of winter radish retain their juiciness longer than summer radish during storage. To gain weight up to 500 g, winter radish takes 90-100 days. And since with early cultivation, it shoots, it is sown in the middle lane - early July, in the south of the country - in mid-July - early August. If summer radish varieties are sown in July, and winter ones - in May, they will ripen, but their roots will be small.
Summer radishes can be pulled out of the soil by hand. They are harvested when the roots reach the desired size. Winter radish is dug up before the onset of stable cold weather and only with the help of a pitchfork. In our country, 13 varieties of winter radish are officially registered: Graivoronovskaya, Winter round white, Winter round black, Levin, Healer, Black woman, Night, Night beauty, The Queen of Spades, Matchmaker, Healer, Cylinder and Chernavka... However, amateur gardeners in the south of the country, especially in the regions bordering Ukraine, also grow varieties Squirting white and Squirting black.
Photo by the author, VNNISSOK, Poisk, Gavrish (www.seeds.gavrish.ru)
Photo by the author, VNNISSOK, Poisk, Gavrish (www.seeds.gavrish.ru)