Peppery and Beautiful
We sought out Mary Beth and David Shaddix, who have a picture-perfect kitchen garden and nursery, complete with hound and chickens, about 30 minutes from our Birmingham, Alabama, offices. On their counsel—they know what grows best through hot and humid summers, long springs, and occasional frosts—we selected a year's worth of seeds. By early spring, the first thrilling harvest arrived in our Test Kitchen for recipe development. We'll be showing the fruits (and vegetables) of our garden project labors. First up: peppery, beautiful, easy-to-grow radishes.
See More: Our Favorite Radish Varieties
Ready the Soil
Like all root vegetables, radishes prefer loose, well-drained soil. Drag your trowel lightly to create a 1⁄2-inch-deep line for planting. Sow seeds about an inch apart, and then smooth the soil over the seeds. Allow 6 inches between rows. Water well and wait, but not for long. Seedlings will emerge in a few days. A helpful tip: Label your radish rows with the date you planted them to help you know when they’re ready to harvest.
Interplant with Lettuce
Harvest When Small
Tip: Pick radishes when they’re still small—about golf ball–sized. When they get too big, they become slightly bitter and woody. Cool weather also helps keep them sweet and mild. Radishes harvested in summer heat will have a much sharper bite.