How To Plant And Grow Radishes In Containers & Pots

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. 

  • Plant radishes in pots 2-3 weeks before the final frost date in your area. 
  • If you’re growing spring and fall radishes, a 12-inch contailer that is 6 inches deep is a good choice. For winter radishes, look for a container that is deeper to accommodate more extensive root growth. 
  • Plant radish seeds not seedlings, spacing the seeds 1-inch apart, then thin to 2-4 inches apart. 
  • Keep the soil moist but not soggy, and the container gardening radishes should reach maturity between 3-5 weeks after planting.

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

Growing Radishes in Pots: Getting Started

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

When to Plant Radishes

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. 

  • Spring and fall radishes are the most common types. They stay relatively small and have a short storage life. You can start to plant these 2-3 weeks before the final frost date in your region or sooner if you use season extenders. 
  • If you want to grow winter radishes in pots, they’re planted in the late summer for a late fall harvest. Winter radishes are storage radishes and grow much larger.
  • The soil temperature should be above 40℉; you’ll notice the weather starts to warm up at this time.
  • If you live in a tropical or subtropical region, it’ll be too hot for you to grow radishes in the summer.

2. Pick The Right Container

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!

  • Your container should be, at least, 6 inches deep. Radishes are a root crop, so they need plenty of space to grow deep into the soil.
  • If you’re growing larger varieties of radishes, such as Daikons, pick a larger pot that measures 12-14 inches deep.
  • Any shape container works, whether you want a round, rectangle, or whatever else is available to you!
  • Make sure the pot has drainage holes at the bottom of the container. Radishes don’t like soggy soil, so the water needs to drain away freely.

3. Fill The Pot With Rich Soil

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. 

  • Make sure you mix organic compost into the soil to add nutrients as well as to increase drainage.
  • You can use a vegetable plant starting mix or make your mix. A combination of compost and peat moss with a small amount of sand works well.
  • You also can mix in a vegetable fertilizer before planting because it helps to encourage fast root growth.
  • Radishes prefer a pH range between 6.5 and 7.0.

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:

  • Peat moss
  • Compost
  • Aged Manure
  • Coconut Coir
  • Perlite
  • Vermiculite

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. 

  • If you grow spring and fall radishes throughout the summer, shade in the afternoon won’t hurt your plant. Since they prefer cooler weather, the shade will provide welcome relief. 
  • Radishes can grow in part sunlight and only receive 4-5 hours of sun each day, but it slows the growth. Understand, if you select these locations, you’ll extend the days to maturity.

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.

Planting Radishes
  • Once you fill your containers with potting soil and select the spot for the growth, it’s time to plant your radish seeds.
  • Plant the radish seeds ½ inch deep and 1 inch apart. Be careful to leave at least 1-2 inches between the edge of the planter and where you plant the radish seeds.
  • The seeds must be kept moist, and in the right conditions, radish seeds germinate in 5-10 days.
  • Once sprouted, thin the seeds, spacing the plants two inches away from each other. While you might think it’s strange to plant so many seeds, it ensures you have enough germination.
  • If you’re growing large radishes, you should space them 3-4 inches apart.

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.

  • When using succession planting in container gardens, you’ll want two or three containers. It makes it much easier to keep track of your planting. Another option is to use one large rectangle container to mark the rows. 
  • Plant a new row every 1-2 weeks. Once you harvest and use a row of radishes, replant!

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!

  • At the same time, you want to avoid overwatering your radishes because it can cause root rot. That’s why your container must have drainage holes.
  • You can check your soil by putting your fingers into the ground. If it’s dry 2 inches down, you need to water, but check the next day if it’s still moist.
  • Most recommend watering every other day or every three days.

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. 

  • Be sure not to add too much nitrogen because it can cause too much foliage growth. Instead, select a low nitrogen formula, such as one that is 5-10-10. A general-purpose fertilizer, such as a 20-20-20, can work as well if you dilute the application. 
  • If, after two weeks, your radishes aren’t growing well, fertilize with a weak dose of a water-soluble fertilizer.

Harvesting Radishes

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. 

Harvesting Radishes
  • Make sure the radishes are a pick-able size. To do this, remove some of the soil from the tops of the plant. It should be thicker than your thumb when you harvest.
  • Gently pull the radishes from the ground. You should make sure you pull from the top of the root rather than the top of the greens because the leaves break easily.
  • Once you bring them inside, you should separate the leaves from the root because they can cause the roots to wither and lose water faster. Don’t toss out the leaves because they’re edible as well.
  • Wash your radishes well and place them in the refrigerator. They can be stored for several weeks.

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.

Aphids

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

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. 

Clubroot

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!

Round Radishes

Round Radishes

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:

  • Pink Beauty
  • Cherry Belle
  • Easter Egg
  • Early Scarlet Globe

Elongated Radishes

Elongated Radishes

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.

  • Watermelon Radishes
  • French Breakfast

Icicle Radishes

Icicle Radishes

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. 

Daikon Radishes

Daikon Radishes

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! 

Updated on by Amber Noyes

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