Cultivating the huge daikon radish is a great way to enjoy something very different in your vegetable garden.
This monstrous radish produces an abundance of edible greens, grows in silt and clay, and produces a bountiful crop of huge sweet radishes that store very well, great for humans, deer and fodder.
Deer rapidly become addicted to the foliage and the produce, so as well as being a plentiful human source of food, these radishes bring in the game.
Planting daikon radishes is not difficult and once you learn how to grow daikon radish plants, you will be able to enjoy them year round in some places or replant them each year in other regions.
A daikon is a Chinese radish (Raphanus sativus longipinnatus), also known as lobok and oriental radish. Daikon has large roots, and some of the biggest varieties can weigh up to 50 pounds. The most common types weigh from 1 to 2 pounds at maturity and can have up to a 2-foot leaf spread.
Most people cook daikon radishes, but they can also be used in salads. Growing daikon radishes is a nutritious and enjoyable pursuit. These tasty radishes are low in calories and full of essential vitamins and nutrients. Daikon radishes are even grown year round in most parts of California and similar regions.
In spring, you can plant these radishes as soon as you can work the soil. Continual planting every 10 to 14 days will ensure successive crops. As with other radishes, growing daikon radishes are good to plant in places where you will put warm season crops. If you want mature radishes in the spring, you can also plant them in the winter with the use of a cold frame or some other means of protection, unless you live in a temperate climate.
In the garden: Place the seeds ¾ inch deep and 6 inches apart. Leave 3 feet between rows to allow for mature spread. The plants will mature within 60 to 70 days.
Microgreens growing instructions: this is not the only way to do microgreens, everyone will acquire their own techniques, but here are the basics:
Cover the bottom of the container with an inch or two of moistened potting soil/mix or coir. Flatten and level it with your hand or a small piece of cardboard, taking care not to over-compress the soil. Scatter seeds evenly on top of the soil. Press gently into the soil using your hand or the cardboard. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil. Dampen the surface with a mister. If you prefer, you can skip this step and instead cover the container with a clear lid or plastic wrap until the seeds are sprouted. While waiting for sprouts to appear, usually within three to seven days, use the mister once or twice daily to keep the soil moist but not wet. Once seeds have sprouted, remove the cover (if you've used one) and continue to mist once or twice a day. Microgreens need about four hours daily of direct sunlight to thrive (south facing window). In winter months, some may need even more. Leggy, pale greens are a sign of not enough sunlight. Light needs can also be satisfied with a grow light that has a low heat output — you don't want to scorch your delicate greens. Microgreens will be ready to harvest about two to three weeks after planting. Look for the first set of "true leaves" as a sign of readiness. Then grab your scissors and snip the greens just above the soil line. To serve, wash the microgreens with water and dry with paper towels or a salad spinner. Harvest and serve them immediately for the freshest flavor, and add to soups, salads, sandwiches or main dishes. Store remaining cut microgreens in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.