How to Tell If Your Radishes Are Ripe

Written by elizabeth knoll
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How to Tell If Your Radishes Are Ripe
A group of ripe radishes. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

You generally have a small window to harvest radishes. Harvest them too soon and the radish bulb will be small or non-existent. Harvest them too late and they will be very bitter. Knowing when to pick radishes can be a challenging task -- especially for a novice gardener. However, by following a few tips and general guidelines, you can quickly turn this challenge into an easy task and you will be able to enjoy fresh radishes for one of your upcoming meals.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Save the radish seed packet when planting. Refer to the harvest time listed on the packet to know when to pick your radishes. You want to start checking your radishes once you enter that harvest window.

  2. 2

    Brush the top layer of soil away from around the base of the radish plant. Radishes are ready for picking when you notice swollen bulbs around 1 inch in diameter. The bulbs may even poke through the top layer of soil on their own.

  3. 3

    Grasp a radish plant at the base and pull it straight out once you have followed Steps 1 and 2. Prepare the radish and take a bite. If good flavour exists, pull a few more out and see that they are around the same size as the first.

  4. 4

    Harvest the rest of the radishes and either prepare them for storage or eat them. If radishes stay in the ground too long they will become hot, tough and bitter.

Tips and warnings

  • Radishes are a cool season crop. For best results, plant early in the spring or late in the summer.

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