One of the best vegetables in my garden is the Radish Red Arrow. It comes from the Hydrocharitaceae family (Lamiaceae or Labiatae). It is also known as Rauwolfia haematogenicum. I call it the Radish Red Arrow for two reasons.
First, it is a rather easy to grow vegetable that grows well in a variety of soils. Second, it has few bitter taste, hence is suitable to eat or used in soups, stews and salads. Radish is an attractive dark green leaf vegetable that has reddish purple, orange or yellow flowers. The large white, bell shaped flower heads are full of tiny, brilliant red seeds.
Radish is a perennial bulb native to Europe and Asia Minor that has many uses. It is an excellent source of calcium. Calcium is necessary for strong bones and teeth. It prevents blood clots and softens the stool to make it easier to cleanse the colon. Radish root can be mixed with milk and used as a laxative.
Radishes are low-maintenance perennial plants. They do well in a range of conditions, but prefer an acid soil with lots of dissolved oxygen. They like well-drained, rich soil with plenty of light. It needs an alkaline environment also but is otherwise quite hardy and grows in most climates.
Radish planting is simple. You can either use seeds or plants. Seeds are available at nurseries or you can plant them yourself. Planting plants is a bit more work, but yields more than you would expect. The Radish Red Arrow plant is quite hardy and can be planted in most areas.
Plant seeds about a foot deep, about the thickness of a pencil. They can be used directly or transplanted into a larger pot. Make sure the seeds are well protected from frost. When choosing plants, keep in mind what you will use them for. If you just want them to fill in a corner, you could use shrubs, herbs or creeping plants.
Most perennials need a lot of water. However, there are some desert plants that can survive with only a little. Experiment and see what works for your area. Some perennials will bloom all year and others are more drought tolerant. You can use a hand pump to water a plant if needed. To keep a plant from becoming too dry, spread its soil generously.
Keep your plants healthy by clipping any dead branches or leaves. Remove the weeds by hand and use a good weed killer. Be careful when planting radish because they can take over an area very quickly. Be prepared ahead of time by making a planting plan and preparing the soil for planting radish.
Before planting radish, make sure your soil is moist but not muddy. Radishes like a well drained soil, so test the soil with a finger or your thumb. It should be neither dry nor too wet. If it needs a little moisture, add a small amount of water to the soil before you place the seed.
After digging the hole, make sure the bottom of the hole is level. The seeds will probably be wet when you place them in the hole. They will need to have somewhere to land firmly. If you are using wooden pegs, use a length of wooden board as leverage. The holes should be about two to three inches deep.
Radish is susceptible to blight, which attacks the roots. Blight has a negative impact on the quality of the plants. If blight does appear on the plants, you should pull the plants and replant them immediately. Check the leaves for black mold, which can make the plants look green and distorted. Black mold will appear on the underside of leaves, and later, on the plant itself.
The radish greens are full of vitamins and minerals, which make them good for you. If you grow your own, you can make sure your children get the right amounts of nutrients. Radish is a versatile crop that can do well in a variety of environments. As long as you follow these guidelines, growing radish is easy!