For me growing radishes has been fairly easy. I put the seeds in the ground, cover them lightly, water and then wait a few days. It usually doesn’t take more than that for the little plants to sprout and begin their short growing period until harvest. Typically within a month to 6 weeks we are enjoying wonderfully fresh radishes. Then I replant and we wait again.
This year, however, has been a little different and I didn’t give it much thought until yesterday.
After bringing in the morning harvest I set to work on cleaning the radishes and getting them into some cold water. Anxious for my first taste of our second crop of radish I popped one into my mouth. About 10 seconds later I was spitting it out in the sink and my mouth was on fire. Never in my life had I had a radish that was so hot that I couldn’t at least choke it down. For about 15 minutes my mouth burned and even milk and bread didn’t help to sooth it.
Now for a bit of history, the first crop of radishes were somewhat hotter than last years crop too, but I figured it was just the variety I planted and possibly the fact that they were in a new part of the garden with different soil. Although hot, they were by no means inedible. So when the time came to replant after harvesting most of the first crop I went out and bought a package of mild non-GMO seeds. This way I figured we could actually enjoy the radishes.
To my dismay, the new crop of radishes is not only hotter than the first, but inedible. Even Hubby who can tolerate a lot hotter things than me, couldn’t stomach the hotness. Why? What in the world is going on?
Thank God for the Internet! I did a little research and learned that there are several factors that could affect the hotness of a radish.
- The length of time the radishes are in the ground.
- The radishes may have grown too slowly.
- The radishes are too old.
- The weather was too hot. Radishes need cool weather.
Well, I didn’t need to go any further. With temperatures close to 90 for nearly the past month it’s not hard to see why my radishes were so hot. I never gave it a second thought when I planted my second crop of radishes at the beginning of June when the weather was really beginning to heat up. My crop was picked just as soon as the radishes were more than a dime in size and rounded out and grew in precisely the amount of time indicated on the package. The heat is the only explanation for this.
Last year we had a much cooler summer, thereby explaining why the radishes were not even close to as hot as the ones this year.
My solution? Well first and foremost I am not going to be replanting radishes again until fall, or the 15 day forecast promises much lower temperatures. Second, the rest of the crop that is in the garden will remain there, unpicked. I will let these go to seed to enrich the soil a bit and possibly gather some seeds for planting in the fall or even next year.
True to form, gardening is a process of learning, trial and error, and an exercise in patience and perseverance. My radishes might be down, but this gardener is by no means out, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.