For my family, radishes are a spring crop. I plant them at the same time as I plant our peas, usually mid-April, to produce one of the first vegetables of the season. The first radishes are ready for harvest in mid-May.

But since radishes go from seed to table in about a month, you can plant them as late as early September in southern and coastal Maine and still get some to eat before the first hard freezes arrive.

Radishes are easy to plant. Loosen the soil, and plant the seeds 2 to 3 inches apart. The seeds will sprout in three to 12 days, and are ready to harvest when the leaves are about 6 inches tall. Pick them quickly after that, because if they are left in the ground too long they’ll turn woody and tasteless.

Radishes are good raw by themselves or in salads, and can also be used in a mixture of roasted vegetables. My editor says they are delicious braised, too, adding that cooking them softens their raw heat.

My favorite radish is the French Breakfast variety, which are half white and half red. A friend from college likes these the French way – with butter, but that’s a bit much for me.


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