Long, white daikons are a long-season variety of radish. Unlike the early spring French and round radishes that are ready to pick just a few weeks after planting, daikons take at least two full months to reach usable size. A favourite in Asian stir-fry dishes or pickled, daikon radishes maintain a crispy texture and mild flavour even when they grow over a foot long. Plant daikon in mid to late summer; the plants thrive best in cooler temperatures as autumn sets in.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
Dig a planting row at least 1 foot wide and 1 to 1 1/2 feet deep. Remove all rocks, roots and debris from the soil and break up any large dirt clumps.
Spread a 3-inch layer of compost over the row. Turn the dirt over two or three times if necessary to incorporate the compost evenly through the soil.
Press the daikon radish seeds 1 inch deep into the row, spaced 2 inches apart. Pat the soil down firmly over the seeds.
Water the newly planted row gently until the ground is damp, but not soggy. Keep the ground moist, watering daily, unless natural precipitation occurs, until the plants reach 2 inches high. Thereafter, water deeply whenever the top inch of soil dries out.
Thin the row to a plant spacing of every 4 to 6 inches when the daikon leaves reach 2 inches high. Spread a 2-inch layer of mulch around the plants to keep weeds in check and prevent moisture from evaporating from the soil.
Harvest daikon radishes before the first hard frost. Loosen the soil on both sides of the row by inserting the shovel blade 6 inches away from the plant base to prevent cutting into the radishes. Grasp the entire cluster of leaves and pull. Once harvested, cut the leaves off, leaving 1 inch of stem attached to the radish.
Tips and warnings
- Do not plant daikons in an area where crucifers such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale have been grown in the last two years.
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