You know you’re a rookie vegetable gardener when the sight of ready-to-eat radishes in your backyard sends you over the moon with joy. You know your sense of pride is a little ridiculous when you spend 10 minutes trying to get the perfect photo of said radishes. But hey, my garden got off to a slow start this year, and this is my first “harvest.” So… just like a mom watching her baby taking those first steps, I feel the need to capture the moment. I bet you’ve done that, too. Right? (Guys?)
The truth is I’ve very rarely purchased radishes from the store or farmer’s market, and I’ve never used them for anything other than crudités platters. But since they seem to be the easiest and quickest thing to grow in a vegetable garden, I included them in my plan to ensure I had some sort of early, esteem-building success.
Who knew there were so many kinds of radishes, and that they tasted so differently? I surely didn’t. Pictured above (L to R) we have Sparkler, Pink Beauty, Zlata, and Early Scarlet Globe. All are mildly peppery, which suits my taste. Surprisingly, the rather mild-mannered looking Zlata has the biggest kick. Sneaky. I specifically chose radish that had “sweet” and “mild” in their descriptions because last year I tried Cherry Belle and discovered that I have a pretty low threshold for radish spiciness. I’m also growing Watermelon radish, which take more than twice as long as most other varieties… The seed packet promises it to be a “conversation piece,” so… there’s that.
I recently learned that radish are good companion plants for cucumbers, which I’m growing for the first time this year. They repel cucumber beetles, rust flies and flea beetles. How handy!
With the assortment of radishes I’m sure to be growing this year, I’m going to have to find something more exciting to do with them than eat them raw, with or without dip. What about you? Have you used radishes in any daring culinary adventures?