Vegetables and Fruit forum: Daikon radish bolting

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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
May 27, 2015 7:48 AM CST
Growing daikon radish for the first time this year in zone 5. I bought Burpee daikon seeds (although it doesn't specify the cultivar) and direct-sowed them on 4/13. Leaves are growing large but it has started to bolt already. I pulled one plant to check out the below-ground progress. While the root is about 6" long, it's only 1/4" thick. Will they turn really bitter if I let them continue to grow? From a permaculture perspective, should I let them continue to grow even if not edible?
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
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chelle
May 27, 2015 8:31 AM CST
They'll likely get hot and/or woody, Cindy.

Not sure that letting it go to seed would be of benefit if it's a hybrid, but you could certainly try it. I let a good landrace variety set seeds and for the past several years I haven't even seeded radishes ...I just thin out whatever sprouts. I find it very difficult to grow radishes here any other way. Our climate is just so very indecisive and contrary!

Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
May 27, 2015 8:44 AM CST
I was wondering if this spring weather is too variable for certain daikon types. We went from cold to 80's almost overnight. I think there are two traditional varieties - one for spring/fall and the other for more summer temps. I looked everywhere trying to find what type the Burpee variety was but no luck so thought I'd take a chance. I interplanted these with carrots - Nantes Scarlet and Danvers Half-Long. I guess I should pull the daikons if they're not edible to give more room to the carrots but might leave them where there's more space as a soil-improver if I can't eat them.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
May 27, 2015 11:08 AM CST
Yep. Even with a heavy layer of straw mulch and regular watering our broccoli is starting to bolt. I have never yet grown a nice full head on these, but I keep trying. Rolling my eyes. The lettuce that came up is so-so, but I think that's only because I give it late day shade. We go straight from winter temps to midsummer temps -overnight and back again, repeat, repeat...how any of us (plants included) can stand it, I just don't know. Hilarious!

If you'd like some of the radish seeds I'm growing, just shoot me a mail. I'm pretty sure I haven't given away all I collected yet. Smiling
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
May 27, 2015 12:14 PM CST
One of my bok choy varieties is starting to bolt as well. Grrr. And it's still May!
I would love to try a few of your radish seeds if you have any left. Thanks for your offer! Besides the daikon, I'm growing French breakfast as well but those will be done very soon. It'll be nice to collect the seed.
Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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farmerdill
May 27, 2015 1:39 PM CST
Burpee only vends two daikon type radishes, the hybrid Summer Cross and the open pollinated Daikon Long. If your packet stated Daikon it is probably the latter. I only grow this type as a winter radish. They have a long season and they are not the most palatable in hot weather. Also like most brassicas they are programed to flower and seed on on increasing daylight. There are varieties which have been developed specifically to resist bolting but I have not tried them. The hybrids April Cross and New White Spring are examples of this type. You can save seeds of the hybrids, they will not be true, but odds are you will not notice an appreciable difference.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
May 27, 2015 2:00 PM CST
Thanks for that info, farmerdill. I knew there were two different types of Japanese varieties - one for early spring/fall and one for warmer weather - but couldn't find the info on the Burpee website. And I wasn't sure how much success I'd have with the "winter" type here since our winters can come pretty fast. I'll have to be more diligent when buying more daikon seed.
Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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farmerdill
May 27, 2015 2:25 PM CST
I do grow in winter for harvest in late December - February. In your area you would plant in late June for harvest in September, October, November. Frost does not bother then but they do not tolerate freezes. Winter normally means vegetables that can be stored in northern climates. If you like a dual purpose winter radish that will grow either spring or (tho better in the fall) I recommend Watermelon


Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
May 27, 2015 3:04 PM CST
Thanks again for more info. I may be seed shopping sooner than I expected. :)
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
May 28, 2015 2:56 PM CST
I planted some Daikon radishes at the wrong time, and got a bumper crop of radish seed pods and ZERO edible roots. The roots were tiny and hairlike for such a huge plant.

The pods were delicately spicy and delicious. Try eating some of your young seed pods!

Mine were Daikon Radish 'Minowase' OP from Hazards. Raphanus sativus
"Japanese Winter type, Pure white, 16" x 3" smooth, uniform, crispy, juicy flesh, low pungency, sow summer or fall, 52 days "

I think I planted mine in the spring, which was the worst time.

I left some pods on the ground and a few came back, here and there, for two years.

The subsequent volunteers apparently "knew" when they should germinate and grow. They developed big white roots, but they were too hot for me. They sprouted and drilled into pretty hard clayey soil, but their shoulders always stood above ground.


Thumb of 2015-05-28/RickCorey/5d9645

Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
May 28, 2015 6:15 PM CST
OK - so let the daikons flower and set seed? Have never seen a pod so this is all a learning experience. I wanted to grow these both for eating and for the permaculture benefits. Leaving the plants to grow on this year to collect the seed/pods will work for what I was hoping. My decision to grow them was totally spontaneous and me, being the impatient person that I am, didn't spend the time researching that I should have. Will make notes on seed varieties to order. Even my bok choy is bolting. Sheesh.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
May 29, 2015 12:18 PM CST
Shadegardener said:OK - so let the daikons flower and set seed? ...
... Even my bok choy is bolting. Sheesh.


I would let the Daikon radishes bolt and eat some pods, but save lots of seed. If you plan to use them as "tillage radishes" for heavy clay, I bet they do great (sown at the right time).


Here are a few slow-bolting Bok Choy that might last longer in heat.

Can you start yours any earlier? I dont do this, but we are supoosed to be able to direct-sow many Bok Choy before the last frost.
Most Brassicas and Bok Chois are cold-tolerant but not heat-tolerant. When they bolt, they are violating their prime directive, since they are "really" biennials that "should" not go to seed until next year.

  • Joi Choi - F1 Hybrid - 50 days - 18" heavy white stem - tolerates many temps and resists bolting

  • 'Sweet Bok Choy' - New F1 - Tainong Seeds - high yields ~ 50 DTM - tolerates high heat - (semi-heading, broad mid-rib, looks ~like Chinese cabbage)

  • White Stem Medium - shakushina - Kitazawa #298 - 45 days - Sow spring to fall when nights above 50ºF - (Best harvested very young)

  • Baby Bok Choy - 'Mei Qing Choi' - Hybrid Tainong Seeds (Sakata) - 35-40 days extra early - green stem - tolerates heat & cold, good bolt resistance

  • 'Special Green Petiole Ching Chang' OP - Baby Bok Choy - green stem - Tainong Seeds - tolerates high heat 40-45 DTM

Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
May 29, 2015 12:33 PM CST
P.S.

Another way to handle a mis-match between your springtime and Bok Choy's preferences is to save a LOT of seed, even if it might be cross-pollinated.

In fall or spring, broadcast-sow it very thickly and then harvest it at the baby leaf or micro-green stage before it can even think about bolting.

The baby leaves can be used raw in salad, like spinach, or in sandwiches, or as a garnish.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
May 29, 2015 1:28 PM CST
Hmmm - it's the 'Ching Chang' that's bolting. I did start them in the GH and planted them in late April in pots on my patio. Gosh - wouldn't it be nice if I knew what the time frame is from seed to bolting. Smiling Thanks for the additional info.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
May 29, 2015 1:47 PM CST
Rats! Not much else to suggest. Maybe your climate favors fall for Brassicas, over spring? I assume you kept them moist without drying out.

Since Bok Choy is usually easy and Chinese cabbage can be fussy, maybe you could try a few Napa or Michihli cabbages next spring, just in case they surprise you.

Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
May 29, 2015 3:24 PM CST
I am growing Chinese cabbage 'Hilton' which seems to be doing ok. I think 'Hilton' and 'Ching Chang' were sown at the same time. DD also gave me some Napa which is doing fine. I think the main problem here is the weather. No drawn out spring or fall. I will do more research on better varieties for me now that I've actually got some experience with them.
Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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farmerdill
May 29, 2015 6:01 PM CST
Pak Choi bolts 60 - 80 days from seeding depending on variety and stress level (spring planting).
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
May 29, 2015 7:18 PM CST
>> No drawn out spring or fall.

That does make it tough. Can you grow broccoli?
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
May 29, 2015 7:30 PM CST
Not really...or only sort of. A third of my patch has bloomed, and it's all getting picked tomorrow. It's been in the ground just 4 weeks, and we've had both freezing weather and nearly boiling weather (repetitively) in between...and it's supposed to go from mid-eighties today, to lower to mid-40's Sunday...again. Rolling my eyes.
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
May 29, 2015 7:31 PM CST
Yikes! I knew I was in a mild climate, but yours sounds like an extra-solar planet.

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