By Jennifer Poindexter
Have you ever considered growing your own radishes? They’re delicious, raw, on a salad. However, you can also use them in the place of potatoes in some cooked dishes. Some people even bake them for a tasty snack. Not to mention, radishes grow well in containers and are extremely fast producing.
If you need a quick-growing, versatile, container vegetable for your indoor garden, let me help you navigate the growing process. Here’s everything you must know when growing radishes indoors.
What You Might Need to Grow Radishes Indoors
When raising radishes, there are a few things you might want to invest in to create the ideal growing area for this vegetable. You’ll need a flat surface to place your planter on. This surface should also have a way of hanging a grow light over it, or there should be enough room for a free-standing grow light.
If you use a grow light, you can also invest in an LED lighting system. Many times, they’re less expensive than traditional grow lights.
The only other item you’ll need is a timer. If using a grow light, it’s beneficial to place the light on a timer, so you don’t have to remember when to turn it on and off.
By investing in these few minor items, it should give you all the tools necessary to have a successful growing experience when raising radishes indoors.
Growing Conditions for Radishes Indoors
Radishes are excellent plants for beginner gardeners because they’re so easy to please. There are very few requirements, for the growing space, you must provide radishes in your indoor garden.
The first thing radishes will need in an indoor grow space is adequate lighting. Radishes require anywhere from six to eight hours of direct lighting per day.
If you have a sunny location in your home, this would be a great spot for radishes to grow. However, if your home doesn’t receive much sun, you can use supplemental lighting.
In the event you need to use a grow light, be sure to leave the radish plants under the light for longer periods. The rule of thumb is plants require two hours under a grow light for every hour of sunlight you’re supplementing.
If you grow radishes under a grow light full-time, the plants will need to be there for approximately twelve to sixteen hours.
The next thing radishes will need, in a grow space, is a well-draining container to grow in that’s filled with well-draining soil.
It’s best to use a plastic container for a grow space because it doesn’t retain moisture as well as other materials. The planter should also be a minimum of six inches deep to support the root systems of the plants.
Try to choose smaller varieties of radishes when growing in a container. If you choose larger varieties, you’ll need to increase the size and depth of your container.
The only specification for soil, outside of being well-draining, is it should be loose. This will allow the plant to spread beneath the dirt as needed.
If you can provide enough lighting, a well-draining container, and soil that’s loose and well-draining, your radishes should have what they need to prosper under your care.
How to Plant Radishes Indoors
Radishes should be sown directly into the soil when growing them indoors. Where it’s a root vegetable, you shouldn’t disturb the plant once it’s sprouted.
The seeds for this vegetable are tiny. Therefore, you shouldn’t worry about counting out seeds and trying to space them properly during the initial planting.
Instead, choose a well-draining container. Fill the container with quality, loose, well-draining soil. Take a pinch of radishes from the seed pack and gently cast them over the dirt.
Use a garden fork to, gently, pull soil over the seeds. They don’t need to be very far beneath the soil. Once the seeds have sprouted, it should take a week or less, thin them to where there’s one to two inches of space between each plant.
From planting to harvest, it should only take approximately thirty to forty-five days. This is how quick and easy it can be to grow radishes in your indoor garden.
Caring for Radishes Indoors
Raising radishes indoors seems really easy, at this point, right? You’ll be pleased to know it only gets easier from here.
When it comes to caring for this vegetable, it needs virtually nothing from you. You should water these plants correctly and know when to fertilize.
To begin, you should use the deep watering method to water radishes. You’ll place the container in your kitchen sink and allow water to pour over the soil.
When water begins flowing out of the bottom of your planter, you can stop applying water. Allow the container to finish draining completely before placing it back in its growing location.
By watering your plants deeply, it ensures the water reaches the root system while also encouraging stronger roots. In turn, this creates healthier plants.
However, it also ensures the plants aren’t overwatered. You shouldn’t apply any more water to your radishes without checking the soil.
Stick your finger into the dirt, next to your plant. If the soil is dry to the first knuckle, it’s time to have another deep watering session.
If not, you shouldn’t apply any more water until the soil dries out further.
The only other thing you’ll need to do, to care for your radishes, is avoid fertilizing them. If you feel like your soil isn’t rich enough at the time of planting, you may add an all-purpose fertilizer to the soil prior to sowing the seeds.
However, ensure your fertilizer isn’t high in nitrogen as this will encourage large tops and take away from the root. It’s important to only use a balanced fertilizer.
If you don’t add fertilizer prior to sowing the seeds, you shouldn’t add any while they’re growing. This is all it takes to care for radishes adequately.
Pests and Diseases Which Could Impact Radishes Indoors
There are a few pests and diseases which could still harm your radishes when they’re growing indoors. The diseases which most frequently harm this vegetable are downy mildew and damping off.
Damping off is a fungal disease which kills seedlings. It will only impact your radishes during their early phases.
To avoid damping off, you should avoid overwatering your seedlings. Radishes do prefer cooler temperatures. By adding extreme moisture to cooler temperatures, you’re creating an ideal breeding ground for fungal disease.
You can also sprinkle cinnamon over the soil. This spice has natural anti-fungal properties which can help fight this disease.
If damping off occurs in your radish seedlings, there’s no saving them. This is why it’s important to practice prevention of this disease.
Downy mildew is another fungal disease which can impact radishes. To avoid downy mildew, you should ensure your plants are properly spaced to increase airflow surrounding your radish plants.
You should also ensure the soil and container, the radishes are growing in, is well-draining. If you see signs of downy mildew, treat the radish plants with a fungicide.
The only pest which could bother your radish plants is an aphid. They can be treated by spraying your plants with soapy water. You can also use an insecticide to rid your plants of this bother.
Stay alert to these potential risks, and your radish plants should avoid severe damage which could impact your harvest.
How to Harvest Radishes
Harvesting radishes is about your preference. Wait until they’ve been growing for at least thirty days. You can remove one or two plants to see if the radishes, beneath the soil, are the size you desire.
If so, pull up as many radishes as you like. If not, you can leave them to grow a little while longer. The only concern is to make sure you don’t let your radishes go too far.
When they stay in the ground for too long, they can become brittle and aren’t as enjoyable to eat. Be sure to use your radishes fresh or rinse them and store the radishes in your refrigerator until you’re ready to use them later in the week.
You now have all the information necessary to grow radishes from start to finish indoors. As you can see, the process is quite simple.
If you’re looking for an easy, fast-growing vegetable, don’t overlook the radish. It’s versatile and can be used to spice up your culinary experiences.