Tomatoville® Gardening Forums


Notices

General information and discussion about cultivating all other edible garden plants.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old June 12, 2020   #1
JRinPA
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: SE PA
Posts: 884
Default radish seed - are they all created equal?

I been dabbling with radishes for probably 5 years, just planting them in small patches or interlaced with rows of other vegetables. It is nice to get something early and mark rows. I like them before they get too spicy. Seed is broadcast by hand.

Every year it seems that there will be some nice ones that I pick early at nickel or quarter size. Then later, if enough water, I'll get some nice round ones to full size 1-1/2 to 2" (champion, etc) or ones that look like they pic of that see type. But there will be little skinny ones or small rounds nearby that I hold off from pulling to let them "get bigger". This year, with more regular watering (first spring with drip tape) I am still seeing some little pencils, right next to nice round golf ball sized ones. The conditions can't vary much in two or three inches distance.

A lot of times they might get a little bigger in the next couple weeks, but also get misshapen and/or start to bolt. I leave them in there, but the return is small for the extra time taking up that spot in the garden. I'm beginning to think I should just wipe out those laggards to reclaim the space. To "cut bait" a lot earlier than I do.

This has led me to think that all radish seeds are not created equally. Since they are so quick to harvest, it makes sense to me that the seed...quality, perfectness, not sure of the right term...that the particular seed is more important than with a plant such as tomatoes that has a long way to go from seed to edible mass. Or, that tomato seeds and such are simply more uniformly perfect when formed, that tomato seeds are indeed "created equal".

I guess I could test this hypothesis by devoting a well spaced bed, absolutely equal watering, and really keeping track to see if they all hit the same size at the same time, but I hope that some long time radish growers can chime in and save me from that work. Are all radish seeds in the same pack created equal?
JRinPA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 13, 2020   #2
RayR
Tomatovillian™
 
RayR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Cheektowaga, NY
Posts: 2,439
Default

Radish seeds in the same pack are not created equal, no matter what variety, they all come out at different sizes. Thinning, consistent watering and fertilization will get you the best overall crop. I just harvested the rest of my radishes the other day, got a lot of nice ones but there are always some runts. Don't want to leave them in the soil too long when the weather gets too warm, they'll turn hot and woody and go to the flower and seed stage. They are a good companion plant and don't take a lot of space so I always grow mine around the edges of some of my larger containers that I usually grow a tomato plant. No problems with boring worms like nematodes that like root crops that way too.
RayR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 13, 2020   #3
JRinPA
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: SE PA
Posts: 884
Default

Runts, I like that... I think it took me so long to notice due to mostly natural watering up until this drip tape setup. With the drip or lots of rain, I'll get nice full size ones, but still some that just won't perform even with extra time. Little runts! Someone at the comm garden mentioned last week that their radishes were not doing much this year. A few nice ones, but a lot misshapen and small. That is what got me thinking about this.
JRinPA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14, 2020   #4
JRinPA
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: SE PA
Posts: 884
Default

Ray I forgot to ask, what kind of fertilizer do you recommend for radishes? I mostly use 10-10-10, various composts, and sometimes epsom salt, depending on the plant/location.
JRinPA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14, 2020   #5
JRinPA
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: SE PA
Posts: 884
Default

I wonder if it is possible to grade the radish seed through a screen filter of some kind. Then only plant the bigger stuff? Lot of work I suppose. But it would be nice to avoid the runts. I bought this Champion seed in a 1 lb pack for around $5-$6 at a farm supply, so I'd be okay tossing the smaller ones if that is causing the runts. I may well have to attempt that and grow the large and small in nearby rows to compare.
JRinPA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14, 2020   #6
RayR
Tomatovillian™
 
RayR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Cheektowaga, NY
Posts: 2,439
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRinPA View Post
Ray I forgot to ask, what kind of fertilizer do you recommend for radishes? I mostly use 10-10-10, various composts, and sometimes epsom salt, depending on the plant/location.
Radishes don't need any special fertilization, they get whatever dry fertilizer I prep the container with that the tomato plants are going to get. This year I tried something different for my containers instead of the usual Espoma Tones, EcoScraps Tomato and Vegetable. Besides that they get liquid Fish Hydrolysate & Seaweed, BioAg Ful-Humix and whatever other organic amendments I choose to mix in on a weekly basis.
RayR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14, 2020   #7
RayR
Tomatovillian™
 
RayR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Cheektowaga, NY
Posts: 2,439
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRinPA View Post
I wonder if it is possible to grade the radish seed through a screen filter of some kind. Then only plant the bigger stuff? Lot of work I suppose. But it would be nice to avoid the runts. I bought this Champion seed in a 1 lb pack for around $5-$6 at a farm supply, so I'd be okay tossing the smaller ones if that is causing the runts. I may well have to attempt that and grow the large and small in nearby rows to compare.
Wow! One pound is a whole lot of radish seed. You doing sprouts and micro-greens too?
I don't know if the size of the seed is related to the final size of the radish or not. I guess you could do some trials and find out.
RayR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14, 2020   #8
GoDawgs
Tomatovillian™
 
GoDawgs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Augusta area, Georgia, 8a/7b
Posts: 1,684
Default

I think the radish seed in a pack is "straight run" when packed (no grading or sizing) there have to be runts in there. Just shake out a radish seed head, onion seed head, etc and it's always a mix of nice average seeds and smallish/undeveloped seeds that probably never will make it.

And it seems it's like some radish varieties consistently do well in my garden, others are hit and miss and some never do well and go into the "never grow again" category. Right now I do French Breakfast and several daikons. The long types always do better for me than round radishes. Go figure. Radish season down here with such varying temps is always hit and miss for me, especially in the spring.
GoDawgs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18, 2020   #9
zipcode
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Romania/Germany , z 4-6
Posts: 1,577
Default

I noticed the quality varies also depending on vendor, you get with some a better quality seed.
My guess is simply the plant that specific poor seed came from. If they selected only the ones that got a good bulb, and let only those go to seed, I think the final quality would be much better, so essentially the variety is not pure. But this is only a guess, the best way one could test is to save their own seed, and I'm too lazy for that (also space).

If you want the best variety for more challenging conditions, Riesenbutter is the one. French Breakfast is the second best.
zipcode is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18, 2020   #10
JRinPA
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: SE PA
Posts: 884
Default

I appreciate the responses and have started culling out the runts instead of letting them continue to occupy space and suck resources. I figure they are ungraded as well. The seed I use now is much better looking than the little packs, at least with regards to unbroken seed. But I have never seen radish seed that is uniform in size. I may well have to try to trial it, if I can figure a screen, to see if helps.

This seed is a few years old and my brother has used some, but I probably still have a 1/4lb in that pack. I swore off the little store packs measured in tens of a gram. A few years back I started 3 packs of radish seed that cost about $6 total. One pack seeded all of 5 ft of row and then only germinated maybe 30%, real spotty. A second pack germinated about 3%...three percent. A third pack was fine and looked more or less normal germination, but was big pink hot radishes that took a long time compared to the little red ones I like.

So far it has been a pretty good radish year, due to me watering more, or the way I planted. I started by putting in seed in my grow holes for transplants, so I had some things to pick when I put in tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and broccoli. Every time I have an empty spot I've been trying to remember to seed with something, or sometimes all of them. Radish lettuce spinach turnip red beets parsnips. The only problem I had is one spot where the turnips and radishes are way up over the sweet potatoes. I need to find those again.

A pound of radish seed is a whole lot for a home garden, but since I found a place to buy commercial seed in the bulk packs, I haven't bought store seed packs much at all. 500 ct eggplant, 8 oz red beet and spinach, 2lb min peas and corn. Last time (spring '19) I bought 5lb of cascadia peas and they are about gone in two seasons. I have close to 200 ft of pea row this spring, plus 18 ft I planted but wiped for summer squash instead. When I take down the trellises next month I may have to save seed from missed pods for fall planting, because I won't buy 4 or 8 oz for $10 at tractor supply. Lettuce I save myself and for the first time this year I purposefully overwintered some parsnips for seed. In spring I gathered them at the head of one bed and it beautiful yellow jungle canopy covered in beeflies, solider beetles, and ladybugs. I don't know that I want to try to save seed from radish though!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 11.JPG (239.2 KB, 26 views)
JRinPA is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:12 AM.


★ Tomatoville® is a registered trademark of Commerce Holdings, LLC ★ All Content ©2019 Commerce Holdings, LLC ★