Radishes are one of my favorite vegetables. They’re sweet, spicy, and crunchy, and they grow quickly—in just a few weeks! If you want to harvest them at their peak flavor and freshness, though, you need to know when to pick them.
Here’s everything you need to know about harvesting radishes at the right time for maximum flavor.
When To Harvest Radishes
Harvest radishes when they are the size you want. You can harvest them smaller or larger—it’s up to you!
Check for firmness and remove any that feel soft or wrinkly.
Harvest radish greens when they turn yellow; do not let them go to seed.
If you’ve grown a row of different varieties, make sure all the tops have turned brown before harvesting the roots. This is especially important if your radishes have been pollinated by bees (or other insects) and are going to produce seedlings later on in the season.
When Is The Best Month To Harvest Radishes?
The best time to grow radishes is when the weather is cool. You’ll want to plant your seeds in late spring or early summer, so you can harvest by fall. If you plant too early, the roots won’t have enough time to develop before winter sets in and kill them off. Planting too late will result in large, tough roots that don’t taste good at all!
Radishes tend to mature quickly after they sprout up above ground—usually within one or two weeks of germination. The best way to make sure they grow at just the right pace? Harvest them regularly so that each new batch remains small and tender until it reaches maturity (which should take about three months).
How Long Can Radishes Stay In The Ground?
Radishes are extremely perishable, so they should be harvested as soon as they are big enough to eat. If you wait too long, they will get woody and tough—and you may have a hard time pulling them out of their beds without damaging them.
Can You Harvest Radishes Too Early?
You probably want to harvest radishes before they grow into giant roly-polies, but what about if you wait too long?
Radishes are generally ready to harvest when their roots are about 3-4 inches long. If you wait too long and the radishes grow much larger than that, they’ll start to have a woody texture and will be tasteless. They might also start splitting open which means that they’ve become bitter as well. On the other hand, if you harvest them too early they will be small and not sweet at all!
So what’s the best way to tell when your radish crop is ready? It depends on whether you’re growing spring or summer varieties of this vegetable.
How to Harvest Radishes
After you’ve allowed your radish plants to mature, they’re ready to harvest. Since these radishes have a long shelf life, you can wait until the last possible moment before pulling them up and storing them in the refrigerator.
Remove the radishes from the ground by tugging on the leaves that are attached to them.
Wash each root with water and brush off any dirt or debris that remains firmly attached to it. Be sure not to allow any soil or mud into your kitchen sink!
Also, be sure that no bugs were hiding on or around your radishes before washing them off; this is particularly important if you intend on eating them raw (and who doesn’t?). You can use soap as long as there isn’t too much residue left behind on your roots (soap can kill flavor when used excessively).
Storing Radishes After Harvesting
Storing radishes is pretty straightforward. They’re best stored in a cool, dry place and should not be refrigerated unless you plan on eating them within a few days of harvesting them. Most people will simply store their radishes in the fridge for no longer than two weeks after harvesting. If you want to keep your radishes for longer than two weeks, then it is recommended that you store them in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
If you have more than enough fresh-picked radishes and would like to freeze some or all of them, then go ahead! Radishes can be frozen whole or sliced before being packed into freezer bags or containers. Just make sure that they are completely dry before freezing so as not to develop mold during storage!
Now that you know when to harvest radishes, you can plan your garden accordingly. Radishes are an easy crop to grow in most climates and conditions, so now all you need to do is wait for the perfect time of year!