Over the past number of weeks I’ve noticed quite a difference in radishes growing in farmers fields. Some are outstanding and consistent; deep and fairly large tubers (tuber girth seems to be related to fertility and age of stand). In the thumb of Michigan I saw over 300 acres of fields planted at 10#/acre that were just what the farmer wanted. We found tubers 8-12” deep and we could not really find the real bottom of the roots as we broke them off in the soil.
While some varieties have good tubers in other instances I have found real problems. In a field in NE Indiana a SWCD director brought some radishes from a farmer’s field that did not look good. The farmers planted around 100 acres of a VNS radish from North Dakota (labeled as “Daikon”) and he was not happy. I don’t blame him…look at the photo below.
What makes this story even more interesting is that the VNS radish (VNS = Variety Not Stated) from North Dakota cost the farmer 30-40 cents less per pound than the GroundHog. Unfortunately, he’s unhappy because his radishes are not performing. I’ll say it again…”VNS could equal Very Nasty Seed”. The farmer saved $3-4/acre and is frustrated. Two things…and this is for dealers and producers…#1 –Choose to buy from a trustworthy source #2) IF there is a big price savings…beware there is a reason for that spread! Saving 15-20% on seed is HUGE! If there is that much saving ask questions and get good answers!
Mark Henning says
I wonder if the radished bolted because they were planted too early? In my experience in eastern MT and western ND, radishes do well if planted later in the season- after July 1, or even later- Aug. 1. If radished are planted in the spring and it suddenly gets hot (which it can in this part of the country), then they will tend to bolt.
I wish that were the case. Unfortunately they bolted regardless of when they were planted. I have seen bolting from planting too early and that’s why we try to make sure folks know about waiting until early August to plant their radishes. Some folks use the radishes for a mid-summer planting but they only leave them growing for 8 weeks before killing them or tilling them in.