Introduction to Radish Cultivation:
The following information is about Radish Cultivation and Planting Methids.
The radish is a vegetable belonging to the Brassicaceae family. These were domesticated exclusively in Europe during the pre-Roman times. The scientific name of the Radish is Raphanus sativus. They are being grown all over the world. In radish there are numerous varieties. These varieties also vary largely in colour, size, texture, length and time period of harvest. Even radish plant extracts some toxic chemicals like Isothiocyanate, Glucosinolate and Myrisunase from the neighbouring plants due to which they suffer from pest and diseases. Some smaller varieties of radish germinate quickly, but there are other varieties which take more time to germinate and grow. The young leaves of the radish plant are called Spinach. Sometimes the spinach is also cooked and consumed. The radish is a biennial and annual crop.
Mostly, the wild variants appear in Asian Countries like India, China and the countries of Central Asia. Although we have many varieties of radish, they are again subdivided into different types based on their harvesting seasons like summer, rainfall, winter and spring. They’re also classified according to the length, colors and size.
Characteristics of Radish Cultivation:
- They grow from swollen tap roots which are globular and cylindrical in shape. The shape depends on the variety of the radish.
- The radish has different skin color ranges like white, pink, red, yellow, purple and sometimes found in green or black. But usually their flesh is white in color.
- The radishes, which are small in size have long leaves for their plant of 13 cm length. The roots are 2.5 cm in diameter. The roots which are long are 7 cm in length.
- Some varieties in radish have pepper taste.
- The maximum height a radish plant can grow is up to 40 inches.
- Even the weight differs for each variety of the radish.
- The flesh of the radish is crisp and sweet when harvested. But when it is left in the ground the radish gets tougher and better.
Properties of Radish Cultivation:
- Radish contains calories, carbohydrates, proteins and very low fat content in them.
- The vitamins which are contained in radish are Vitamin C.
- Minerals which are present in radish are Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Zinc, Potassium, and Phosphorous.
Cultivars/Varieties of Radish Cultivation:
Firstly, all varieties of radish are grown under different seasons. The radishes are categorized into four types as per the seasons like summer, winter, rainy and spring.
- About summer & spring varieties radish:
These summer variety radishes are also referred to as European or spring radish. The seeds are planted during cold weather conditions. If the seeds are planted in March or April then they are called as summer radish. These take 3-4 weeks of time for growing.
- About winter variety radish:
In this season all the famous and most popular varieties are cultivated. These are cultivated in the plains. These take more time, so these can be sown at any time between September and January. The cultivation depends on the seed and soil ability.
Tropical or Asiatic type radish:
- This variety plants are long, marble white in colour and they are capable of pithiness and premature bolting.
- The radish is Chinese pink in colour.
- The radish is 12 -15 cm long, they are semi stumpy to stumpy. Their tip is white or pink.
- The skin of the radish has a smooth texture and their flesh is white in colour.
- The inner flesh is crisp, solid and mildly pungent in smell.
- These crops mature in 50 – 55 days.
- This variety radish plants are white tampering, smooth in texture, and it has a mild taste.
- These are free for forking.
- The length of this variety of radish is 30 – 40 cm; the thickness is 3 – 5 cm.
- These are more suitably sown in September – October.
- This variety is a quick growing type.
- These can be consumed after they attain their size in 10 days.
- The crop matures in 50 – 60 days.
- The Radish is cylindrical in shape; the skin is pure white in color.
- The flesh is crisp, solid and mild in flavor.
- The length of root is 25 – 30 cm and the diameter is 5 cm.
- These are sown from October to December.
- But in the hills, they are sown in July – September.
- The crop matures in 60 – 65 days.
- The radish is white, but with a tinge of green at the top.
- The length of the radish is 30 – 45 cm.
- This variety of radish can tolerate slightly higher climates also.
- These seeds are sown in mid September and mid November
- They get matured in 60 – 65 days.
- It can tolerate high temperature adapt well to their surroundings.
- These are sown in mid March to mid August in northern and central parts of India. It can be cultivated throughout the year in southern and western parts of India.
- These roots are medium long, stumpy and pure white in colour. It has mildly pungent smell.
- These crops mature in 40 – 45 days.
- They are mostly grown in summer and spring from April to September.
- Pusa desi is a subtropical cultivar.
- The sowing must be done in the middle of August to October.
- They are 30 – 35 cm long; they are tampered with green stem end.
- These are white in colour.
- They are 20-23 cm long
- These are white in colour.
- The shoulder is green in colour.
- The roots are long.
- They are light pink in colour.
- These are popular in Himachal Pradesh.
Temperate or European types:
Rapid Red Whiter Tipped:
- These are extra early European table type crops.
- They mature in 25 – 30 days.
- They are sown from mid-October to February.
- They are smooth, small, round, bright red with white coloured tip.
- In northern plains the sowing is done from December – February.
- The roots are 30 – 35 cm in length; its diameter is 10 – 12 cm.
- The roots are pure white with green stem end.
- These are tampered with semi-stumped short tops.
- The skin is pure white in color; the flesh is crispy, sweet flavored with the mildly pungent smell.
- The crops get matured within 55 days.
- These can be grown in hills throughout the year except winter months like November – January.
- This variety of radish is medium short in size.
- They get matured in 5 – 30 days.
- These radishes are 12-15 cm long; its diameter is 2-3 cm.
- These are sown in mid-October to February.
The skin colour is pure white; they are icy white, fleshy, juicy and sweet in taste.
- They are suitable for indoor gardening.
Soil and Climate Requirements for Radish Cultivation:
In general, the radish can be grown in all varieties of soils, but it is grown more frequently in well drained sandy loam soil. The pH level of the soil may range between 6.0 – 7.5. The Asiatic varieties are more suitable for summer and spring season. The European varieties are grown in winter season and are considered to have more flavour, texture and size. The winter temperature should be 10 to 15˚C. The bolting of radish without adequate root formation is caused because of high temperatures during the day. These high temperatures also lead to tough root formation and pungent smell even before it reaches the edible size. Higher temperature leads to the pungent smell whereas cool temperature radishes have a less pungent smell.
Land Preparation and Planting for Radish Cultivation:
Land preparation: The land preparation should be in such a way that there would be no clods in the soil to interfere the root development. The soil should not contain any un-decomposed matter. The general ploughing should be doing about 30 cm deep. The remaining ploughing cycles should be done 4 – 5 times. At the first ploughing, application of the farmyard manure should be done in required quantity.
Seeding/ Planting: For early spring crop medium – top strains are more preferable. But in summer, long days the short-top strains are more preferable. The seed rate for manual sowing are 11 – 17 kg per hectare and rate for machine process is 20 – 34 kg per hectare. The depth of the sowing the seed should be 0.5 – 1 cm. Elongated roots are produced when the seeds are sown to a depth of 2 cm under the soil. The seed rows should be spaced 20 – 30 cm apart or if we are using the equipment, spacing is done automatically. The plants should be spaced 40 – 50 cm.
Propagation Method for Radish Cultivation:
The propagation of radish is done through the seeds by sowing them into prepared soil beds. The plantation of the seeds should be done in late winter to early spring. While planting small amount of nitrogen @ up to 60 kg per hectare should be applied to the soil.
Manure and Fertilization Method to Radish Cultivation:
The Radish is a quick growing crop, but there should be better care and the soil should be rich in nutrients. Farmyard manure of 20 – 40 tonnes per hectare is applied to the soil. In the form of Ammonium sulfate, nitrogen is applied @ 18 – 50 kg, in the form of superphosphate; phosphorous is supplied @ 50 kg and potash in form muriate of potash @ 50 kg per hectare of the land.
The farmyard manure should be mixed properly at the time of land preparation. A full dose of potassic phosphatic and the other half dose of nitrogenous fertilizer should be applied to the rows of sown seeds. Half dose of nitrogenous fertilizers should be applied as a top dressing after the irrigation cycle.
Irrigation Methods in Radish Cultivation:
For uniform seed germination and growth of plants there should be minimum soil moisture. If there is no sufficient soil moisture at the time of sowing, then the first irrigation should be given. Before the germination of the seed if the surface becomes dry with a hard film formation, then in such cases it is better to check the soil moisture and provide irrigation. The irrigation must be given as per the climatic conditions, may be twice or thrice a week. Irrigation must not be given too frequently as the roots may get rotten because of the water logging.
Weed Control Measures in Radish Cultivation:
To check the growth of the weeds regular weeding is necessary. To keep the growth of weeds under check two weeding cycles will be required. As a pre-emergence control 25% of Nitrofan can be applied to arrest the monocot and dicot weeds in the soil. For proper development of crops earthing up and weeding is highly important.
Pest and Diseases Control Measures in Radish Cultivation:
The pests which damage the radish are Root Maggot, Flea Beetles and Aphids.
Control measure for pests:
- For avoiding the occurrence of Root Maggot, the soil should be treated with insecticide or fabric floating mulches should be applied carefully so that there would be no flies.
- The crops should be investigated regularly before heavy damage occurs due to pests. Plain talcum powder can also be used for controlling flea beetles.
- Aphids are controlled by using neem oil spray.
The diseases which destroy the radish are Clubroot, White Rust, Downy mildew and Alternaria blight.
Control measure for diseases:
- The club root can be avoided by adjusting the soil pH level up to 7 before planting the plants or seedlings.
- The intensity of the disease can be reduced by spraying 0.2 % of Maneb 2-3 times in 10 – 12 days interval.
- White Rust diseases can be resolved by spraying fungicides like Bordaux mixture of 0.8% or Dithane Z 78 of 0.3 %.
- The potency of the disease is reduced by spraying Copper oxychloride of 0.5-0.75%, Maneb of 0.2% or Zinc of 0.25 %. For a crop 2 – 3 spraying are enough.
Harvesting Techniques in Radish Cultivation:
Some varieties are harvested just after 2-3 weeks after planting. The radish should never be left in the ground after they are completely mature otherwise the look may deteriorate quickly. These radishes are harvested manually by uprooting the plants. After they are cut the matured seed stalks are dried on a cover in a shady place. When the pods are completely dry the threshing process is done; generally after one to five days of drying.
Post Harvesting Techniques in Radish Cultivation:
Storage: The radishes should be thoroughly washed after harvesting; they should be graded as per their size, shape and colour. Under normal room temperature they can be stored for 2-3 days. They can also be stored for 2 months in cold storage at 0˚C with 90 – 95 % of humidity.
Marketing: For marketing purpose these radishes are packed in wooden baskets, and sent to the local markets or exported to other countries.
Yield In Radish Cultivation:
The average yield of the summer or spring season Asiatic varieties of radishes is 15 – 20 tonnes per hectare in 40 – 60 days.
The average yield of the winter season European varieties radishes is 8 – 10 tonnes per hectare in 25 – 30 days.
Read: Growing Snake Gourds.