Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Radishes and Daikon

As a kid one of my favorite sandwiches was slice of rye bread spread with butter or goose fat and topped with salted radish slices. I can still hear the crunch when you have the first bite. I did try to grow regular supermarket radishes but I found it to be a waste of time, energy and space. Two years ago I have ordered Asian type radish seeds from AgroHaitai and planted them later this spring. When I tasted the radish I wanted some more seeds but when I searched for the seeds it looks like they do not carry it anymore. It is too bad, because I do like this radish. Anyway, this radish has same diameter as regular large radish but is so much longer that you could cut it into pieces equivalent to 6 large radishes. What a space saver! I guess it is back to seed catalogs to find replacement.
Daikon is another story all together. We love daikon in any which way: fresh sliced, julienned, stir-fried, boiled in soup, etc. So, I got seeds from same company and what a surprise I had when in 2 weeks I had a field of huge leaves and no sign of root, just a half inch spear. I was puzzled so I have sent a question to my email friend and gardener extraordinaire, Ferdzy at Seasonal Ontario Food. Her reply was straight to the point:
“I find radishes will just sit there with a lot of leaves and no root until almost the last minute. Then, suddenly, the root will fatten up and they are ready. So if' you are not seeing or feeling a daikon root it probably isn't really there yet. I think it will surprise you how quickly it forms when it is ready though.”
Well, lots of leaves are gone right now. I did give them good shave in order to give some room and light for my tomatoes. I guess it is now wait and see. I did leave 3 leaves for each root but I am not sure if it is enough.
Lesson learned: “Never plant daikon (or anything else for that mater) if you do not have the space and wait for reply to your question before you take drastic action”. Thanks Ferdzy!

Daikon was choking my tomatoes so something drastic had to be done.

Since tomatoes are so much more important the daikon got serious haircut. The leaves filled large bucket. Because the leaves are a bit hairy they are not good as salad greens.

I think that I will have real daikon radish after all.

What a great radish this is! I hope that I will find replacement.

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