Spring radishes

We planted some really neat looking black radishes (nero tondo) from Johnny’s seeds two months ago.  Today we were able to harvest our first nero tondo.  First impressions: outer skin has the texture of a fine tree bark, and edible.  The taste, however, (and this may be due to its immaturity) is very spicy with a mild sweetness up front.  Probably one of the best textured radishes that we have tasted.  Another week in the ground and we think we might have a winner.  The seed catalog quotes,  “Much more uniform and resistant to bolting than the ordinary Black Spanish variety. Large, 2-4″ (depending on harvest date), black-skinned, round roots with crisp, hot, white flesh. Suitable for sowing midspring (soil temp. 60°F/15°C or higher to prevent bolting) through fall. NOTE: Space 3-4″ apart. Packet: 265 seeds.”  Good choice but we had planted Cincinnati Market radishes at the same time and was able to harvest them almost two weeks ahead of these.  Just in time to put some peppers in the ground!

The second type of radish is, as we mentioned before, the Cincinnati market radish.  Pre-1870’s heirloom that is fast becoming rare. Deep red radishes are 6″ long and tapered. Flesh is tender, crisp, and mild. 25-30 days.  Approximately 20% of them bolted and according to everything we have read about these that is common, and it is suggested that if your are saving seeds to cull these individuals immediately!  As for the taste, we were of the opinion that they were a little on the watery side with a decent crunch and a very mild almost translucent flesh.

Our third type of radish this year is the April cross daikon radish.  This is a hybrid, slow bolting radish about 12-14 inches long and about 2 inches in diameter.  We have learned that if you do not run your soil through a <1/5 screen to remove large rocks and debris the daikons will have a tendency to fork (although they are still tasty!).  Standard mild snow white flesh, and fun to pull out of the ground!

As of today we have for 36 inch row for each type, we have harvested 16 oz of cincy market, 16 oz. nero tondo, and 1 lb. 12 oz. of daikon.  Cincy markets have all been harvest but we still have a lot to harvest of the other two.


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