The Q&A Archives: My Radishes Are All Tops! Will The Fruit Grow?

Questioner's Location: Island Lake, IL
Date: June 26, 2001

Question: I saw a similar question on Q & A but did not understand. My radishes started slow (cool weather) and when the weather warmed up they grew rapidly. Now the stems are 8-10 inches tall with small fruit. My soil is good. Will the fruit grow or has the warm weather spoiled my chances of large Cherry Belle fruit. I understand that cooler weather grows better radishes but I am hoping that the radishes will get larger with time. This happened last year also. My soil is light with peat and manure mixed in. I am assuming that the growth is going into the stems and not the fruit. What can you tell me?

Answer: Red radishes such as Cherry Belle really do grow better in very cool weather and can even be planted a bit before the last frost in the spring, then continuing in succession ever ten days or so until the weather turns too hot. One of the most common reasons for all tops and no radish is overcrowding, so make sure to plant them a bit apart (about an inch) and to thin them as they grow. (You can eat the thinnings, of course.) Heat, lack of water, and overly rich soil can also cause excess tops at the expense of the roots.

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