In the world of nutrition and foods, microgreens are a top trend. People now find it exciting to grow their own superfoods themselves. Microgreens such as Radish can be grown easily, produced quickly and also require a small investment. Knowing this plus their nutritional value, vibrant colors, and unique flavor makes people who are after improving their wellness and health add microgreens as a recipe in their daily diet and meal plan.

This article looks at the types of Radish microgreens available, how to grow them, their nutritional breakdown and potential health benefits. Let’s take a ride together!

There is an endless type of radish available. In fact, Radishes make up to 2% of all the vegetable production in the world. Every year, about 7 million tons of radish microgreens are produced. They vary from colors and mild or spicy to size and shape. Although all radishes produce nutritious greens and flavorful edible roots, the different types available slightly have different growth habit. So, to grow radish, it is important and helpful to know the common types available at the farmer’s market or supermarket.

Daikon Radishes

This is one of the most commonly found radishes. It is a large radish variety and a native of Asia that is known widely. They can reach a diameter of three inches and 18 inches in length. It is carrot shaped and features a juicy white flesh that is a bit milder than the black radish and hotter than the red radish. Usually, this type of radish is not eaten raw, but they have softer flavor and can be crispy, bright delights when you peel and cut them into very thin slices.

Spanish Radishes

Are also known as black radishes. It comes with a snowy white flesh covered with a truly black exterior. This type features a shape like a turnip and is up to eight inches in length. They are sharp when raw, and their flesh is drier than other radishes. Black Spanish which is available long and round varieties are the types that are usually grown commercially

French Breakfast Radishes

This type of radish tremendously varies in their level of sharp bite. They feature an oblong shape with their bottom displaying white and top displaying pink. Also, they come with a slightly delicate and sweet flavor.

Chinese Radishes

Are also called lo bok. Chinese radishes are elongated and plump. Also, their length can range from 12 to 20 inches.

Round Radishes

When people think of radish, the round radishes are what come to mind. They come in purple, red, pink, white, and can also come in shades of these colors. But red is the most common variety. When you go to a supermarket or farmer’s market, you will see them been marketed as Easter radishes because they resemble dyed Easter eggs.

Horseradish

The origin of this type of radishes is unknown, but the ancient Egyptians and Greeks used it for its medicinal value. The horseradish is gnarled and has a funny look. Their size varies from 6 to 12 inches. They come with beguiling undercurrent sweetness, highly complex flavor, and a combination of biting intensity and heat.

Watermelon Radishes

This type of radishes are mild-flavored and large. They come with a thin greenish skin having a layer of white under them. The fuchsia flesh center and brilliant red-pink interior give them the name watermelon radishes because of their resemblance with watermelon.        

What Are Radish Microgreens?

Radish microgreens with the botanical name Raphanus sativus are annual or biennial crops that are grown for their swollen tap roots which can be cylindrical, tapering, or globular. They are a type of vegetable that is commonly known for their crunchy texture and distinctive flavor. They are mostly eaten raw and come in nearly endless varieties with roots that are edible, greens that are nutritious and different growth habits.

They are often classified by mature plant characteristics or favorable planting seasons. Although there are almost no archeological records to tell us where radish comes from, it was tentatively located in Southeast Asia, and it is the only region where scientists have discovered the truly wild form. Differing forms where found in locations like Central Asia, Central China, and India.                               

What Varieties for Radish Microgreens?

At the time, there is a large distribution of radish varieties around the world. Varieties can vary with season, and these are spring radishes, summer radishes, winter radishes, and seed pod varieties. Depending on the variety, radishes can be plump and thick, carrot-shaped or round. The exterior can be red, white, yellow, black, pink, purple, or unusual in their color combination. The flesh is usually white, but some varieties such as the watermelon radishes come with different interior color. Additionally, these varieties vary in size as some can be small and others can be big. Also, some varieties can be mild while others can be spicy.

Apart from the common types of radishes mentioned above, there are some other unique varieties. They are:

Wasabi

They are often sold in pastes or powders as Japanese horseradish. Most real Wasabi is limited to Japan because they are expensive and extremely difficult to grow.

Purple Plum Radishes

Are large and round variety of radishes with a reddish-purple color. They resemble plums and come with crisp and firm texture with a mild flavor.

Red Globes

These are small oval-shaped or round red radishes with crisp, solid, white flesh. The range is between one to five inches in diameter and is probably the most familiar among Americans

Other unique varieties you may find at the market are Korean radishes, snowballs, white icicles, and California mammoth white radishes.

What Do Radish Microgreens Taste Like?

Radish microgreens appear leafy just like some other veggies so you can easily confuse them to have the same taste as other plants. They taste peppery and are zesty, crisp and spicy when eaten. However, due to the different varieties available, radishes can range from very mild to very spicy when you eat them cooked it mild the spice and brings out their sweetness. Additionally, they have a flavor that is the same as mild spinach.

Difference between Radish and Daikon Radish Microgreens

Seeing this subtopic, you might begin to wonder and ask “isn’t daikon radish a type of radishes?” Yes, daikon is sub-species of radish, and its botanical name is Raphanus sativus longipinatus. But there is some difference between radish microgreens and daikon radish. Check the comparison table below.

Radishes Microgreens

Daikon Radish Microgreens

They come with edible roots that are pungent, crisp and usually eaten raw. They are often round and oval

They are large and elongated taproots often pickled and are also used in Asian cuisine

The color is red

The color is white

They give a peppery, pungent flavor

Daikon radishes have a mild, sweet taste

Radishes microgreens are of Europe origin

They are of Japan origin

They can be stored for more than a week

They might not store well

Radishes microgreens are grown in cool seasons and matures rapidly

Daikon radishes take a long time to mature and are cultivated during the winter

Note that both are sometimes substituted for one another in dishes.

Guide to Growing Radish Micro-Greens

It is exciting to grow your radish, and once you know the basics planting, it will be easy. There are some important details you need to know before you start growing radish micro-greens.

  • Radish seeds germinate between one to three days of planting it and require 10 to 18 degrees Celsius of air temperature.
  • They require a moist condition with the temperature of the soil between 18 and 29 degree Celsius ( 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Radish plants thrive best in full sun and when planted in light, sandy loams having 6.5 to 7 soil pH. However, a clayey-loam is ideal for late-season planting
  • The planting depth of radish seeds affects the root size. Small radishes are recommended to be planted at a depth of 1cm while large radishes should be planted at 4cm depth.
  • Radishes grow from seed to maturity between 3 to 4 weeks under average conditions and 6 to 7 weeks may be required in colder weather
  • Radishes can be stored at room temperature for two to three days without losing its quality. Also, it can be stored for up to two months at zero degrees Celsius with 90 to 95 percent relative humidity.
  • Plant them together with slow growing plants such as beets, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes

Now that you know the important things to put to mind before growing, there are some preparations you have to make before you start to cultivate. These are:

  • Make a decision on the variety of radishes you want to plant. Basically, this is often determined by the time of the year do you want to plant it; Spring, summer or winter? Regardless of the time, ensure you go for the variety that will fit well into the planting season.
  • Decide on the perfect place to grow the microgreens. A site with loose, well-drained soil and with partial shade or full sun can be an ideal area. Organic matter such as manure, compost, or leaf mold can be added to the soil. Do this at least one week to the planting of radish

When you have decided on what variety to plant, when to plant it, and where to plant it, let’s take a look at how to plant radishes. Below are the stages you can follow to grow radish microgreens successfully.

The first stage – buy your radish seeds

Go to the farmer’s market or supermarket and buy organic radish seeds that are certified. There are different radish microgreens growing kits on the market that can offer you nutritional food that will require the least amount of effort to grow. The kits

The second stage – sanitize the seeds and soak them

Contrary to the belief of some growers, sanitizing and soaking radish seeds before planting will wake the seeds up and make them germinate faster and better. To wash or sanitize the seeds put them inside a clean container and pour water in the container. On the alternative, since you have the hydroponic microgreens starter kit, you can fill the back with water halfway ensuring the seeds are covered with water. Once this is done, add a teaspoon of vinegar in the container or bag and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Pour the water out after 10 minutes and replace it with fresh water for soaking. The soaking hours can vary with the individual grower, but I will recommend soaking for about 4 to 7 hours. After soaking for the preferred number of hours pour the water out and ensure you don’t lose any seed. Now is the time to sow!

The third stage – sow the seeds

Get a planting container with drainage holes to create a seedbed indoor. Alternatively, there are trays for microgreens, and they often come with the microgreen kits. Fill the container or tray with compost mixed with a little vermiculite or nutrient-rich organic potting mix. You can save on soil usage by using a shallow container. When this is done, ensure the soil is moist throughout by running it under water. Remember, you need a loose, moist well-drained soil.

To sow the seeds, ensure you follow the recommended depth (1cm for small radishes and 4cm for large radishes). Some growers also recommend that you can scatter the radish seeds on the soil as even as possible while ensuring that the spaces are maximized.     

Forth stage – find a spot where light can shine on them

If you want the radish seeds to produce a good microgreen crop, put the container at a sunny spot where they can get enough light. It can be near a bright window. Just ensure they get enough sunlight, and in no time you will see them turn an amazing green.   

Fifth stage – water the soil

Check the radish microgreens development every day. If the soil for microgreen begins to dry, add water to the beds to keep it moist and not soaked. To water properly and evenly, you can make use of hand sprayer filled with clean water. When it starts to grow well, you can start watering with bottom watering, kitchen screen spray nozzle, or small watering can. Even and frequent watering will result in quick growth. Radishes can crack, and their roots can rot if you don’t water them evenly.        

Sixth stage – additional cares

Once the radish microgreen grows to a height of one or two inches, they should be fairly thinned. This will allow the roots of the plant to grow firm and round. The thinning can be around three inches spacing. If radishes are not thinned, their roots are like to end up being inedible and shriveled.

When To Harvest Radish Microgreens

As mentioned earlier, radish is one of the fastest microgreens you can grow indoors, and they offer a fast harvest cycle. Usually, they germinate between one to three days after sowing and also yield a crop in less than one week. You can harvest after two to three weeks of sowing depending on the variety. Generally, when the diameter of the root reaches one inch and when the height of the plant is up to two inches, you can harvest them.

Harvest radishes early because they get hot and spongy the more you leave them on the ground. This means you cannot harvest them multiple times. To be sure they are ready for harvest you can also dig a little deep into the soil beside a radish crop to see if the root is matured or not.

How Do You Harvest Radish Microgreens?

  • You will need something to cut the microgreens, and sharp kitchen shears can be a perfect tool
  • Ensure the ground is moist and not dry for easy harvest. Trying to harvest the radish microgreens when the ground or soil is dry can be daunting. It can also cause damage to the green tops.
  • Try to pull one radish plant out by gently wiggling it and pulling it upward. Once you are able to pull it out, carefully inspect it to be sure it is matured before you go on with the others. If you have been able to thin the radish crop well, you should be able to harvest the radish crops without tampering with the others that are not yet ready for harvest
  • Cut the greens for the roots and save them. You can cut off the greens directly above the root by using kitchen shears or knife. Wash the leaves and possibly scrub them under cool, running water to keep them clean. In case you see any visible dirt, make use of your fingers to remove them. Afterward, use a clean paper towel to pat dry them and store in the refrigerator for at most three days. However, you can discard the greens if you don’t need them. But why would you discard a nutritious green from radish microgreens?
  • Once you have taken care of the leafy greens, you can now clean and wash the roots buy repeating the same above process. They can be stored in a refrigerator for about two weeks.   

In case you need the seeds, you can select the ones that will go to seed. This should be done before harvesting the radish plants. Don’t harvest the ones you have chosen to go to seed. In case, you accidentally forget to harvest a radish plant when matured, such crops should be left to seed. Couples of weeks after maturity stage the radish plants will start to develop flower buds and produce seedpods eventually. When this happens, collect the seedpods by using the garden shears to snip it off the plant. The seedpods are edible so you can toss them in salads after washing and cleaning them.

However, you might wait until the seedpods begin to dry and turn yellow before you pluck them if your primary aim is to harvest the seeds for next season planting. If the seeds are dry, you can pluck them with hands and store them in a tightly sealed envelope or container and label them with the current date and contents. 

Health Benefits and Nutrition Facts of Radish Microgreens

Some people might undervalue radish microgreens, but it is one of the healthiest vegetables you can plant in your garden and eat. Even though they are not well-studied to be used as conventional medicine, radishes are known to have some nutrients that can benefit health. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), radish microgreens are rich in various nutrients which includes carbohydrate, dietary fiber, and vitamins (folate, vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and C). Also, they are rich in protein, minerals (manganese, magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium, potassium and phosphorous), fat, sugar, and water.

All these nutrients contribute to the benefits of radishes in the prevention or treatment of some health issues in human. Some of the health benefits include:

  • Support for a healthy digestive system – the fiber content of the radish microgreens helps in the prevention of constipation and also to manage the levels of blood sugar
  • Keeps blood pressure in control – this microgreen is thought to have a cooling effect on the blood. It controls blood pressure by providing the body with potassium.  
  • Improves the basic immunity system of the body – the vitamin C nutrient that your body will be supplied with will help improve immunity, control early aging, keep inflation in check and also controls developments of free radicals that are harmful.
  • Promotes healthy skin – Phosphorus, zinc, and vitamin c in radishes keeps rashes, acne, dryness, and pimples at bay.   
  • Keeps the body hydrated – This is owing to its high water content.
  • Helps with weight management – with the lots of water, high roughages, and low digestible carbohydrate radishes can satisfy your hunger and make you fill without adding to your calorie count. No doubt, they are a good dietary option for an individual willing to shed some pounds.
  • Protect the liver, kidney, manages diabetes, and relieves disorder in the respiratory system.

To Sum Up

Starting a radish microgreen farm at home is a great way to make sure you have the supply of fresh and nutritious greens all year round. Even though these microgreens are easy to grow, paying careful attention to the basic requirements such as the perfect varieties to grow, soils for microgreens, and how, when, and where to grow the seeds plus the care needed before harvest is very important. When you grow them the right way, you will be able to have a bountiful harvest for you to add to a variety of dishes and also safe for the next season planting.