Radishes are easy to grow at home. However, knowing when to harvest radishes can make a big difference between having a steady supply to throw into meals, or an inedible root you’ll have to throw away.
Typically, radishes should be harvested within 28 to 60 days after sowing, depending on the variety and the temperature in which they are grown. Most varieties can remain in the ground up to one week after this timeframe, with the exception of Winter varieties, which can remain several weeks and be perfectly edible.
In the handy guide below, you’ll learn about the best time for harvesting various radish varieties for their very best flavor.
On top of that, we’ll also tell you how you can harvest them, with the best method to remove them without damaging the vegetable.
3 Factors To Consider When To Harvest Radishes
As mentioned before, you can judge the best time to harvest radishes by three different factors.
- Unique traits of the particular Variety.
- Size of the root and shoulder.
- Time since the seeds were sown.
Now let’s take a closer look at each factor to learn how to use them to determine when it is the best time to harvest radishes.
1. Harvesting Radishes Based On Their Variety
A very helpful way to tell when your radishes are ready for harvesting is to know the characteristics of the Variety you intend to grow. These include the color, shape, size, and time of year it should be planted.
For example, round radishes will have a diameter of about an inch, while oblong radishes will have diameters approaching 0.7 inches.
However, you can also think about it in terms of growing seasons. Radish varieties can be planted in different seasons, with specific types best suited to certain kinds of weather.
For example, some radishes are planted just before springtime, while others may be sown before the cold winter.
If you have a radish planted in the fall and ready for winter, it should survive in the ground for a while, even until it freezes. Their hardiness is their thick skin, thicker than varieties planted in warmer times.
You might encounter some specially bred colt tolerant varieties, that thrive in the winter cold. However, it takes them longer to mature, sometimes as long as two months.
By contrast, a radish planted in springtime will only survive in the ground for a short time and need to be harvested sooner. This is due to their thin skin.
2. Harvesting Radishes Based On Their Size
As hinted before, you can judge that your radishes are ready for harvesting by inspecting their size. This means you need to look at the diameter of the radish’s roots.
Generally, the roots of the radish plant change as the vegetable reaches maturity. You will be able to see a part of the uppermost section of the root, known as the “shoulder.”
It should be sticking out of the soil, so you don’t have to dig any part out and risk damaging it. The shoulder grows and changes in thickness and color over time, indicating the level of maturity of the radish.
However, the size and shape you’re looking for vary across different types of radishes. Some will be ready for harvest when the root is one size, while others will be ready when it’s smaller or larger.
For example, the easter egg variety has a root with a classic round shape and a diameter of 1 inch. If it’s smaller than that, it is still being prepared to be harvested.
On the other hand, if you’ve got a radish variety with an oblong-like shape (like the “Daikon”), you’ll want to look for a root with a smaller diameter – around 0.7 inches.
This is because their circumference will be smaller since the roots have more length than width.
3. Harvesting Radishes Based On When They Were Planted
You should always note when you sow your radish seeds because it can give you an idea of when the grown plant will be ready for harvesting.
Strictly speaking, most radish varieties will be ready for harvesting between 30 and 45 days after they were first planted. This isn’t the case for the hardy winter radishes mentioned earlier.
A great way to plant your radish is by sowing multiple times over the weeks. This way, you can get a whole crop of radishes in the season but not be overwhelmed with too many being ready at the same time.
Since most radishes seeds are sown at the start of springtime, about 6 weeks before the frost, you can plant a few six weeks before, then the fifth, then the fourth, and so on.
How To Harvest Radishes
Harvesting radishes is easy. Pull on the leaves of round radishes, and they’ll come out. For other radishes, use a garden trowel and gently pry them out, making sure not to damage them.
Why Must You Know The Correct Harvest Time?
Radishes are some of the tastiest vegetables, with their zesty and crisp flavor that isn’t replicated by any other food.
However, if you leave them too late, their roots can crack and become woody, ruining their taste.
You must know the right time to harvest your radishes rather than pull them out of the ground too early or too late.
Radishes offer a zesty, crisp flavor – but only if you harvest them at the right time.
On top of that, they have plenty of health benefits, too, being rich in minerals such as potassium and calcium.
To get the best from your radishes, you should harvest them within the estimated time it takes to reach their desired size for their specific Variety.
University Of Minnesota Extension. Growing Radishes In Home Garden. extension.umn.edu. Accessed October 2022