How to Grow Daikon Radishes

Written by denise schoonhoven
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How to Grow Daikon Radishes
Daikon radishes add crunch to stir-fry and mixed vegetable dishes. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

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

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Mulch
  • Scissors

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Instructions

  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

    Press the daikon radish seeds 1 inch deep into the row, spaced 2 inches apart. Pat the soil down firmly over the seeds.

  4. 4

    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.

  5. 5

    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.

  6. 6

    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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