The radish is an excellent choice to grow in a vegetable garden for the avid gardener. They love the sun and the heat, but they do not do well in drought or cold weather. You should be able to find both types of seed at your local nursery or grow shop, but if you are really wanting to get into Radish seeds, you will find that there are several varieties that can be found in Asian markets as well as those in supermarkets. All varieties have their own unique traits and are cultivated in different parts of the world.
There are several sub-species of Radish seeds. Some only grow under certain climates and are called hardy in the plant world. Hardy radishes grow best in areas with a cool, damp soil and are susceptible to leaf blight. Hardy seed varieties also tend to do better in shade and full sunlight rather than shade and low light environments. Some of these varieties also tend to do better in pot-grown plants than in seeds and cuttings grown on the ground.
One of the most popular Radish seeds is the French Radish which comes in over 80 varieties. The seed pods are small and the plant grows very quickly. French Radish seeds can be used to make a delicious vegetable dish in about 3 weeks from planting. Most seeds produce some fruit during the growing season and some do not produce any fruit at all, but this is usually because of a poor harvest.
Some of the other popular Radish seeds are also found in Chinese markets as well as those in the supermarkets. Chinese and Indian radish products can be picked up for a relatively small price and then eaten as is with great delight. These seeds are very easy to grow and yield a great crop every year. The Chinese name for Radish seeds is "nan dong" which means "in dry grass." Many people believe that the term "nan dong" means the same thing as "bitter gourd," but they are not the same.
Radish seeds are hardy plants that produce good yields year after year, even with minimal care. They are slightly more prone to frost damage than some other varieties of vegetable seeds, but they do well under artificial lights in the winter months. They can tolerate some shade, and they prefer fertile soil with good drainage. They will grow in most areas, even in drought-tolerant landscapes. As long as the soil is well-drained they do well in a variety of soils.
Harvesting the crop is simple. The Radish root vegetable produces small white berries when the stem is tapped. Harvesting the entire plant is time-consuming. It takes about one week for the radish to drop its aerial roots to the soil where they may be harvested with a spade or a hand-held hoe. Most gardeners who use the crop as an annual landscape decoration find that it performs well on a trellis system with low branches, providing good support for harvesting.
There are many different varieties of Radish seeds used for early harvests. Planting seedlings at this time is recommended, as the young roots have only been growing for a few weeks. The plants will be easier to handle and tend to resist disease, though there is a chance that they may be affected by an unexpected pest attack early on. Harvesting should also occur shortly after planting, as the stems will be rising soon after harvesting. Harvesting them as the plant blooms is better for long-term health than harvesting just before flowering because they will be healthier when fully grown.
Some of the common Radish varieties used in Asian cuisines include: Asian Sate, Chinese Sate, Russian Sate, black seed, long grain, Indian double grain, white grain, red grain, seed, fenugreek, musk, and rock salt. Each variety of Radish has its own beneficial characteristics, but the best way to cook with them is to combine them in a combination that balances taste and color. Most recipes, especially those targeting the deep purple colors of radishes, can be cooked without radish vinegar, as it tends to flavor the food. However, there are several dishes that can be cooked with vinegar, such as meat or seafood dishes. In general, however, it is not recommended to use radish vinegar in any traditional Asian dish.