How to Grow Daikon Radishes

Daikon is a long, white variety of radish. Also known as white radish, mooli or Oriental radish, daikon radishes can grow over a foot long. They have a crispy texture, mild flavor and are delicious cooked or eaten raw. They are also believed by some to help in weight loss. Here are a few simple instructions on how to grow daikon radishes.

Daikon radishes prefer cool temperatures and unlike most varieties of radish, which grow very quickly, they need 60-70 days to fully mature. For this reason, they are best if planted in the late summer, so they can mature during the cooling weather of the fall. Plant about 2 months before the first frost of the fall. They can also be planted in the spring, particularly in more mild climates, once the soil can be worked or about 2 weeks prior to the last frost of the winter. Daikon radishes can also be grown over winter in southern climates.

Daikon radishes can be grown anywhere with 2-3 months of frost-free weather, but prefer the cooler climates of the north. Ideal temperatures for daikon radishes is below 80° F. Choose an area of your garden with full exposure to the sun and deep, loose soil.

Because of their length, daikon radishes are not recommended for container growing.

Plant daikon radishes in loose, easily draining soil that has been enriched with mature compost. Be sure the soil is well tilled and remove any rocks, branches or other obstructions that may inhibit their growth. Test the soil to be sure the pH is between 5.8 and 6.8.

Sow daikon radish seeds about an inch deep and 2 inches apart (or follow instructions on your seed packet) in your freshly prepared garden bed. Thin seedlings to about 6 inches apart once they are 2 inches tall. Space rows about 2 feet apart. Sow new seeds every two weeks for a successive crop.

Water your daikon radishes regularly during dry weather. Try to keep the soil moist. Give them a good long soak as soon as the top of the soil dries out. Avoid overwatering. The soil should never be soggy. If roots are left to sit in too much water they are prone to rot.

Hand weed carefully and regularly to prevent root competition.

Daikon radishes should not need much feeding if planted in fertile soil. However, they may benefit from a dressing of compost tea a couple of times throughout the growing season. Avoid fertilizers that are high in nitrogen. They help to produce lush leaves but poor vegetables.

Daikon radishes should be harvested before the first hard frost of the fall or after about 60-70 days. Check your seed packet for maturity days. Try to loosen the soil around each radish without damaging the vegetables. Pull them out of the ground by their cluster of leaves.

Fall harvests tend to yield better daikon radishes than spring crops.

Do you have tips on how to grow daikon radishes? Let us know in the comments section below.

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