Maximum Soil Temperature for Sowing Radish Seed - Knowledgebase Question

Rockford, IL
Avatar for aaelawc
Question by aaelawc
July 7, 1999
I have read a large number of people who like me have had a difficult time getting radish seeds to produce anything but tops. Radishes are supposed to be no brainers to grow in the garden but apparently it does take more brains than I have been able to muster to date. I suspect that soil temperature is critical at some stage of the germination/maturation process. I have a soil temperature thermometer and can check it at different depths and times of day if needed. Can you provide any guidelines in this area.

Answer from NGA
July 7, 1999
You're right, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to grow radishes, but, like any other plant, radishes have their preferences. Radishes have shallow root systems so maintain high moisture levels with good fertility by mixing compost into the top 2"-3" of soil and watering frequently. Under dry or crowded conditions the roots will be hot or pithy.
Timing is also important: Sow seeds in spring or late summer so that the radishes mature when days are shorter, sunlight weaker, and temperatures lower.

Sow seeds 1/2" deep and 1/2" apart in rows at least 8" apart. Seedlings will appear in 4-11 days. Optimum soil temperature for germination is 45F - 85F. As soon as seedlings appear thin to 1" - 1 1/2" apart.

Hope the above guidelines will help you grow tasty radishes!

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