Radish crop sheet

Activity

These salad root vegetables are one of the easiest, quick growing crops for your school garden. They can be harvested 4-8 weeks after seed sowing, so bear this in mind when planning your crops. 

  • Estimated time: 30 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors
  • School term: Early Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer, Late Summer
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): Maths, Science

Learning objectives

  • Learn how to sow seeds
  • Learn what seeds and plants need to grow
  • Learn to plant at a specified distance
  • Learn to harvest vegetables

Preparation

Ensure the soil is well cultivated, watered and warm enough for seed sowing to take place.
Sow early radish crops under fleece, in a polytunnel or under cloches from late January to March. Continue to sow later varieties unprotected until late September.

Equipment needed

  • Rake or hand cultivator
  • Trowel and bamboo cane
  • Measuring stick
  • Seeds (check they are suitable to sow at that time of year)
  • Watering can with a rose
  • Enviromesh or horticultural fleece
  • Label and pencil

Step by step

  1. Make a drill (channel) in the soil 1.5cm deep. Use a measuring stick to keep it straight if using a trowel or push a bamboo cane horizontally into the soil to the correct depth.
  2. Take a pinch of seeds at a time and sprinkle them along the drill evenly until you have a continuous row of seeds.
  3. Cover the seeds and firm with them the soil above using the back of a trowel. Water the drill using a watering can with a rose. Label the row and make another one 15cm away and do the same again.
  4. When the seedlings are about 4cm tall, thin them out so there is about 2.5cm between each one. Keep watering radishes in dry weather and remove any weeds.
  5. Harvest your radishes when they are big enough to pull up. Remember small radishes are tender to eat whilst older ones can become woody. Harvest later sown varieties throughout the winter.

Hints & tips

  • Radishes are members of the Brassica (cabbage) family and their main pests are slugs and snails.
  • Do not use manure on your radish bed, this will result in lovely leaves but not many radish roots!

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