Radishes are underrated; they need to reclaim their place in the vegetable garden.
Not many vegetables can be harvested in under four weeks, but some radish cultivars reach harvest size 23 days after planting seeds. If you don’t have garden beds, you can try growing radishes in pots; they aren’t picky.
Whether you have a large homestead garden or an urban container garden, everyone should try growing radishes.
You might be surprised at the wide range of colors and sizes available. There are purple, pink, red, white, yellow, and rainbow radishes and all of them can grow in pots.
Radishes have unique flavors, adding depth to your recipes. You can do so much with them, but not enough gardeners appreciate their diversity. If you want to give this simple vegetable a try, here’s how you can try growing radishes in containers.
How To Grow Radishes In Containers
Radishes are a root crop and part of the Brassicaceae family, related to both broccoli and cauliflower. All radish cultivars grow well in pots, no matter their shape, color, or size.
1. When to Plant Radishes In Pots
Radishes are considered cooler weather crops, so they grow best in the spring and autumn. However, if you offer your radishes shade during the summer months, you might be able to use succession planting techniques to grow radishes from spring until fall.
2. Pick The Right Container
Due to their compact size, you don’t need an enormous container unless you want to grow more radishes. A standard 12″ flower pot can hold a dozen radishes. If you’re going to grow more, upsize!
3. Fill The Pot With Rich Soil
Unlike other veggies, radishes aren’t too picky about the soil in which you plant them. For optimal growth, radishes do best when planted in well-draining, rich soil high in organic matter.
If you plan to grow your radishes in a windy or hot location, you will need to make sure you improve the moisture retention of your potting soil. Adding organic materials and non-organic materials can improve moisture retention, such as:
4. Select The Right Spot for Your Pot
Radishes are fast growers – some maturing in as little as 23 days. They need full sunlight to sustain their growth and root production. Aim to put the container in a spot that receives 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day.
5. Planting Radishes
Unlike other plants, you don’t need to start your radish seeds separately indoors. Since they’re a root crop, it’s best to plant the seeds in the container you plan to grow them. They will not transplant well, so it’s best not to try.
6. How to Plant Radishes with Succession Planting
Due to their fast growth, radishes are optimal for succession planting, but what does that even mean?
When you use succession planting, it means you don’t plant all of the crops at one time. Instead, you might plant a row every week or every other week.
Succession planting extends your harvest over an extended period. Instead of all of your radishes maturing at the same rate, you might only have 12-15 ready at one time.
Taking Care of Radishes in Containers
Radishes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow, whether you’re growing radishes in pots or raised garden beds. Since they’re so easy to take care of, radishes belong in everyone’s veggie garden.
1. Adequate Watering Matters
You want to make sure the soil that the radishes grow stays moist. If it dries out too much or too often, the radish roots become fibrous, and then they won’t be so yummy to eat!
2. Fertilize Your Radishes
Since radishes are such fast-growing plants, you do want to fertilize. Ideally, before planting the seeds, you should mix slow-release fertilizer into the potting soil.
If you prefer not to use granular fertilizer, adding compost or aged manure are suitable alternatives.
Radishes take as little as 23 days to reach maturity, but it does depend on what type of radishes you grow. Some do take longer, potentially up to 6 weeks. If you want to make sure yours are fast-growing, take a look at their days to maturity before harvesting.
Common Pests & Diseases That Bother Radish Plants
Container grown radishes rarely have a significant pest or disease problems – thank goodness. That makes your life a lot easier, but it doesn’t mean they’re in the free and clear. Some pests and diseases could still damage your plants.
No plant is safe from aphids, unfortunately. Aphids attach to the underside of your plants’ leaves, sucking the sap out of the plants, leaving behind a sugary substance called honeydew. Honeydew attracts ants and sooty mold.
You can knock off aphids from the plant with a strong water jet or use insecticidal soap to remove them. Insecticides are typically only used in severe infestations, or you can use Neem oil to reduce their population.
Downy mildew is a fungus that causes small lesions on the upper surface of leaves and white, fluffy growth on the leaves’ underside. It tends to appear more in cool, damp weather.
Ensure you always remove all of the crop debris after harvest season and try rotating with non-brassica plants. You also can control downy mildew with fungicide.
This is a fungus that causes slow and stunted growth and yellowing leaves that wilt during the day but perks up during the day.
Clubroot also causes swollen, distorted roots. It can sometimes look similar to nematode damage, and this fungus can live in the soil for up to 10 years.
Unfortunately, once the clubroot ends up in the soil, it’s nearly impossible to eliminate it. Rotating crops isn’t an effective method to control it.
You can try to apply lime to your soil to reduce the fungus spores, but lime also can cause an imbalance of your pH range, so it’s a delicate process.
If your plants are infected with clubroot, it’s best to remove them from your garden; saving them is nearly impossible.
Beautiful Radish Types to Grow In Containers
Did you know that radishes come in different shapes, sizes, and colors? Here are some of the shapes and the most popular types in which type!
When you think of radishes, the round shape is the most common type. It’s the ones you find in the stores. Some of these popular varieties mature in as little as 3-5 weeks. Some popular round radishes include:
You can find unique elongated radishes. Some are crispy and juicy, perfect for munching. If you want to grow beautiful radishes, especially if you sell veggies at a farmer’s market, try some of these different types.
These types of radishes are a cylindrical shape, looking more like a carrot than a radish. They tend to be 5-6 inches; make sure you don’t confuse them with daikons.
These are winter radishes, larger in size with a sweet, crispy taste. If you pick them later in the season, daikon radishes have a peppery flavor that becomes spicier over time.
Growing Radishes in Pots is So Easy!
If you’re new to container gardening or vegetable gardening in general, radishes are one of the easiest veggies to grow. They grow well in nearly all conditions, and since they reach harvest so fast, they make a great addition to children’s gardens. Make sure you give them a try!
Amber Noyes was born and raised in a suburban California town, San Mateo. She holds a master’s degree in horticulture from the University of California as well as a BS in Biology from the University of San Francisco. With experience working on an organic farm, water conservation research, farmers’ markets, and plant nursery, she understands what makes plants thrive and how we can better understand the connection between microclimate and plant health. When she’s not on the land, Amber loves informing people of new ideas/things related to gardening, especially organic gardening, houseplants, and growing plants in a small space.