We are all used to growing radish in spring, it is almost the first vegetable root vegetable that comes to us in salads, but not many people know that not less successfully can be cultivated radish in the fall. However, the agricultural technique of growing the vegetable in this period is somewhat different from the spring one. Let's take our time to understand what you need to do correctly to achieve high yields of autumn radishes.
Advantages of growing radishes in autumn
Few advantages of growing autumn radishes: first, the root vegetables in autumn can remain on the beds longer, therefore, and their commercial qualities they retain longer. You can not rush with the harvest until the real cold. Secondly, even if you're a little late with the harvest, the radish, which is rightly considered a very cold-resistant crop, perfectly tolerates a frost of even a couple of degrees below zero. So you don't have to worry about freezing temperatures, which are not uncommon in September and October. And another plus of autumn planting is an escape from cruciferous flea. This is known to be one of the most terrible pests of radish, but in this case it may not show itself in the fall because of the cold (but not 100%, of course), so the crops will be whole, and there is no need to use chemicals to protect against it.
Conditions for growing autumn radishes
Naturally, to get good and tasty autumn radishes it needs enough water in the soil, an abundance (or rather a moderate supply) of light and, of course, food in the ground. As for temperature, radishes are not picky and will grow quite well at +17-19 degrees. Light? This time of day is usually short. This time is even favorable for radish, because when the day is longer than 13 hours, radish seems to forget that it needs to grow roots, grow the above-ground mass, instantly form pedicels and tries to quickly form pods with seeds. Do not think that by covering the radish from the sun, just hiding it in the shade, you can save the situation, in the shade the radish will wither and root crops do not actually form.
What about the soil, just ideal for autumn radishes are considered quite fertile and light loam, having a reaction weakly acidic type, ie when the pH 5.5-7.0. On soils that are more acidic, radishes are almost always affected by chiles.
Important! If you plan to grow radish varieties with elongated roots, like carrots, be sure to prepare the soil well, its arable horizon should be up to 20 cm perfectly processed.
The indispensable condition for a good radish harvest is sufficient soil moisture. It is clear that early spring moisture will provide the melted snow, but in the summer time you will have to water yourself. If there is not enough moisture in the soil, the radish will form root crops, which will be typical in shape and color, but they will be quite unpleasant in content: they will be rough, with a lack of juice, bitter, and if there is very little moisture (which happens in dachas), then you may not get the typical "radish" form. Also do not water the soil in portions (dense, then empty), it will affect the root-crops by ordinary overextensions, sometimes quite noticeable.
When to sow autumn radishes?
Usually large radish varieties, distinguished by medium ripeness and late ripeness, sown in late July or in the first half of August. Then you will form not only tasty and proper, but also sufficiently storable root crops. If you still have nowhere to store them, and you'll eat them, as they are called, "with a bed," then sow autumn radishes can be closer to the end of August or even when the pupils rush to school, of course, if the fall will be warm and will not scare an early frost with a snowstorm.
Preparing the soil
For autumn radishes no gardener half a season clean and tidy ridge will not keep for sure, something has already grown on it. Radish - a kind of secondary housing, so you need to remember what was in this place before.
Autumn radishes will grow well in a bed where previously grew garlic, cucumbers, early potatoes, peas and beans, as well as tomatoes. As you can see, the set is large, in fact, after any crop that has had time to run off the bed by this point, you can sow fall radishes. However, there are absolutely undesirable predecessors - radish, daikon, cabbage, horseradish and watercress, in general, all representatives of cruciferous, because they quickly accumulate common diseases and enemies, which are perfectly transmitted just through the soil.
I personally would not advise to sow autumn radish in the area where other root crops have grown before, there was such a negative experience.
What about preparing the soil, then you can not delay, the summer is fleeting, immediately after harvesting the previous crop to dig over the soil, removing all weeds and crop residues and digging to make 25-35 g of ammonium nitrate, 25-35 g of superphosphate and 35 g of potassium sulfate, I would recommend in dilute form, and that, of course, per square meter of bed.
If the soils on the plot are very poor and depleted, it is desirable to make humus or compost, usually a bucket per square meter is enough.
Following the digging with the introduction of fertilizers, the soil should be very well loosen, ideally, it should be loose to a depth of 18-22 cm, but it depends, of course, on the variety of radishes that you will use. If you plan to sow long-fruited varieties, it is advisable to increase the depth of cultivation (loosening). After complete tillage it is necessary to water and better - by sprinkling.
Precautions of sowing autumn radishes
Unlike spring, summer and autumn sowing of radishes is carried out slightly sparser, necessarily considering the final size of the root crops of the sown variety and relying on the maximum sunlight for their short day.
An example: so, for large-fruited radish varieties it is desirable to have eight to ten rows in a ribbon, while the distance between the rows in the ribbon is better to do equal to 12-14 cm, between the seeds in rows - 6-7 cm, and between the bands themselves - 40-45 cm.
Standard rate of seeding radish seeds in autumn is equal to about one gram per square meter. It is possible a little (by 10-15%) more (if not everyone knows, let us specify: in a gram of radish seeds contains up to 120-125 pieces, sometimes even more).
The ideal time for planting radishes is when the weather is wet and quite cool, if there is drizzle, then the weather itself helps you. Before sowing, while waiting for the drizzle, soak the seeds for 12 hours (usually overnight), before planting them in the ground.
When everything is ready, we go out to the bed, in 12-14 cm we make furrows in it, the bottoms of the furrows slightly compacted by fingers, and then watered, better from a sprayer, then at a distance of about 5-7 cm (a lot depends on the radish variety) place the seeds and gently, so they do not displace, cover with soil. It is this kind of sowing can protect the soil from the formation of a soil crust, through which the sprouts will be difficult to break through.
Important ! Sow radish seeds to a depth of one and a half to three centimeters. The depth depends on the soil: 1,5 cm is enough for tight soil, 2,5-3 cm on loose and sandy soil, no more. If you put radish seeds very deeply, it will delay the appearance of sprouts: breaking through the top, the above-ground mass can come out later. But striving to go deeper (with shallow planting), the root crop can end up ugly.
If we are not talking about a couple of acres, but about a large area that you want to take autumn radishes, then the seeds before their sowing into the soil better calibrate. Although this activity is not fast, but then it will still be more convenient to plant each fraction separately. Special sieves for seeds, they divide the seeds into fractions - about 3 mm, two to 2.5 mm and less than two millimeters in diameter can accelerate the situation. Sowing each calibrated fraction separately, you will get and more friendly sprouts, and much more aligned crops of autumn radishes.
Naturally, on sowing radishes into the soil all does not end, begins almost no less important work - this care for the seedlings, for the growing plants until the harvesting. The care usually includes watering, protection from diseases and pests, harvesting and preservation.
Care of autumn radish crops
In addition, do not forget about periodic, at least once a week, loosening the soil between the rows of radish crops, the number of fertilizers, watering, thinning of seedlings, well, as we have said, pest and disease control.
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So, even before the appearance of radish sprouts, it is necessary to be vigilant, it is necessary to fight mercilessly with the soil crust by any methods eliminating it. Usually soil crust appears after rain or watering, usually abundantly. To somewhat reduce the risk of soil crust, if the beds after sowing radish seeds and watering the soil to mulch very fine sawdust or river sand. It helps the lightest loosening, when, the soil layers in this case remain in place, as well as watering from a sprayer, great if rainwater.
If all is well, radish sprouts usually appear already in four days, in rare cases you have to wait a little longer - up to seven days. Be aware that the rays of the scorching sun seedlings can not tolerate, so at least a couple of days, but shade them from the sun. They will not tolerate and excessive moisture in the soil, so three days watering only from a sprayer, and about the same time you can start rationing crops.
Redish seed thinning
Do not miss the thinning of seedlings, as when growing autumn radishes, it is very important. Thinning helps to improve lighting of the plantation, increases the feeding area of each individual plant, respectively increases the total yield from the site.
Usually start thinning the root crops of autumn radishes is advisable a week after sowing. If they are very actively developing, then a day or two earlier, but you should not hurry too much. It is necessary to achieve the appearance of really mass sprouts and quality development of plants. Before thinning the soil must be poured, better to do it with a sprayer, moistening the soil on 2-3 cm.
Further redundant plants, competitors simply pulled out of the ground accurately, so as not to affect those that are located side by side. As a result, between the seedlings of radishes, depending on the variety, should be left free distance equal to four or five centimeters. Then (after a couple of days), hostesses usually select some radishes for use in food and thus increase the distance between the plants to eight or even ten centimeters. Here it is important to make an even selection so that the spacing between the plants is uniform.
For example, based on my own experience (radish varieties we will certainly describe at the end), I can say that the optimal density of standing, say, for the radish variety Dungan is about a hundred pieces of plants per square meter, for the radish variety Red Giant and Zenith - less, eighty or ninety pieces, and varieties of more mature, of course, can be sown and thicker.
It is clear that even after thinning, the area on which the radish grows, should be moist, loose, devoid of weeds. This can partly be achieved by mulching: the same humus with a layer of one centimeter.
Redis watering and feeding
In passing we mentioned watering and feeding, now let us talk about them in more detail. So, we all know well that radishes are demanding to moisture, especially when it starts to form its root crops. Watering with a hose is not an option - you can wash out the soil, expose the root crops and pests will attack them. The best solution is to arm yourself with a watering can with small nozzles, this way you will not wash out the soil and damage the seedlings (do not break the leaves, do not press them to the ground, etc.).
If there is no natural moisture in the form of rain and the street is hot, then water every three days, but if the real scorcher, then every two days. On light and sandy soils, you can water at least every evening, the main thing that by the next evening the soil had time to dry out. For those who like numbers, we can say that the irrigation norm for radishes is about 7-14 liters per square meter, depending on the type of plant, soil composition, nutrition, moisture in the form of rain, etc.
Watering radishes should become a habit, regular, routine matter, otherwise the root crops may grow, but will be bitter, up to complete inedibility. If there will be differences with watering - for example, long were not in the country, came and poured all the radish, turning the beds into a swamp, then in addition to the stretching about which we wrote above, the root crops can trivially crack, begin to rot (also not an option, you know ...).
Fertilizers - this section is criticized in any article and probably will always criticize. If you live well without fertilizers, well, do not bring anything and ... period. And those who understand that all living things from humans to radishes, must eat, know about fertilizers need more detail. So, my personal suggestion is slurry. Dilute it with 8-10 times water, add 20-25 g of superphosphate and 10-15 g of potassium sulfate (not chloride and not potassium salt) to the solution (usually per bucket) - this is the norm for 2-3 square meters of seedbed. If you think that your plants are developing significantly worse than your neighbor's, you can add one feeding of ammonium nitrate. Just dilute one gram of it in a bucket of water and water each square meter of soil of the plot.
Certainly, nitrogen fertilizers - is not a panacea, I myself have always said, say and will always say that it is impossible, prohibited, contraindicated to abuse them: in addition to the fact that they instead of root vegetables can stimulate the plant to form green mass, so still radish will be inside like a ball for ping pong: like a solid, but empty inside. Such root vegetables after harvesting usually begin to spoil quickly, trivial rot. And yes, yes, yes (!): nitrates - they accumulate and do harm to the human body (although, in my opinion, one walk along Tverskaya Street at rush hour is equal to a kilo of eaten radish roots with a bunch of nitrates).
Fighting with radish diseases and pests
We forgot about the diseases and pests by watering, feeding and loosening the soil, which some people even use combs and toothpicks, and the good neighbor did not try and exterminate them while we were arguing about the "usefulness" of nitrates.
As we mentioned in this article, one of the most dangerous pests for radishes is the cruciferous flea. Yes, it is not as active during this period of time, but we cannot say that it is inactive at all. There have been cases when you believe such promises, go out to the site, where only yesterday were friendly and cheerful sprouts of autumn radishes, and they are gone, wiped out. So it is better to overdo it. Do you know what this flea does? It eats out the sweetest, most nutritious and important, it seems, for it, and certainly for the plants, point of growth, and if the weather is dry and hot it is necessary to be ready.
Fight with cruciferous fleas
No one recommends to use chemicals for the struggle with cruciferous fleas. We take the most terrible allergen, having previously worn protective gloves and a respirator, - mustard and sprinkle it accurately, very tiny pinch by pinch between the rows of radishes. You can also use hot ground pepper, and mustard and pepper need a maximum of one teaspoon per square meter. After that you need to cover the crops with non-woven fabric, creating something like a hotbed with a chemical attack on fleas.
Original way to protect radish from cruciferous fleas:
About seven days before sowing radish in the soil you must sow garden cress, mustard, and after another seven days in between the rows of these cultures sow radish. Let's act like Sherlock Holmes: a flea attacks the sprouts of its competitors, we kill them using approved insecticides, strictly following the instructions on packages, and then we have to wait for radish sprouts and cut down the unwanted plants that serve as bait.
The cabbage fly is said to be a terrible coward and if you plant celery near the bed (usually on its periphery) it will certainly not approach your radish plots.
As we have already mentioned, acidic soils may be dangerous for radish due to its affection by kila. If you can determine the pH of the soil, or if you know that it is definitely acidic, we advise you to add 150-200g of chalk, 250-300g of lime or 250-350g of dolomite flour, of course, per square meter and ideally for a year, but you can at least a month before sowing radish. Not a bad soil acidifier is wood ash, in addition, it contains up to 5% of potassium and a fairly large composition of trace elements, although in small amounts. Wood ash can be sprinkled in a millimeter layer directly into the base of the hole, and radish seeds can be sown on top.
Autumn radish varieties
And, naturally, the key to success is to determine the correct degree of ripeness of the radish root crop. To do this you need to know what you're sowing on the plot, which means the variety and how long it will take to ripen from seedlings to produce edible roots. We have prepared for you a list of radish varieties that have shown themselves as well as possible, especially when sown in autumn.
Usually these radish varieties are suitable for sowing in August, ready for harvesting after a maximum of two months and yield fairly large root crops, reaching hundreds of grams. In the cellar such root crops can be stored up to six months.
- Autumn giant - only 26-28 days pass before it is harvested, the root crops reach weight of 145 g, they are white, elliptical shape, with juicy flesh and excellent taste. Keeps up to a hundred days.
- Red giant - to harvest takes about 52 days, the root crops reach length of 11-13 cm. The variety gives a yield of 3.3 kg per square meter. Very tasty and stored up to 120 days.
- Dungan - about 55 days to harvest and almost the same average weight of the root crop (35-45 g), with a yield of up to 3.5 kg per square meter. The root of this radish has an excellent taste.
- Zenith - from 31 to 39 days to harvest, the color of the root crop is pink and crimson, the shape is cylindrical, the length to 15 cm, and a diameter of about three centimeters. The maximum mass is 75 g, sometimes slightly elevated above the surface of the soil. The flesh is interesting - it is very dense, white in color and spicy in taste. Yields up to three kilograms per square meter. Capable of long-term storage.
- Saxa - it takes 31 - 35 days to harvest. The color of the root crop is red and crimson, the shape is oval, diameter up to four centimeters, weight not more than 30 g. The flesh may be snow-white or pinkish, very dense, a little spicy. From a square meter you can dig up to one and a half kilograms of radishes of this variety.
- Würzburg - before harvesting usually 33-36 days. It has a rounded shape, about four centimeters in diameter and weighs 15-16 grams. The flesh is usually snow-white but may be pink and white, and the taste is slightly spicy. From a square meter can collect up to almost two kilograms of harvest.
- Zhara - in this variety the first harvest can be collected in a month after the appearance of sprouts. The color of the root crop of this radish is reddish crimson, the shape is either round or oval, and the diameter reaches 3.5 cm with a mass of about three dozen grams. The flesh can be either snow-white or pinkish, quite dense with a mildly spicy taste. Per square meter can be harvested up to 2.5 kg yield.
- Rosenbuter - this variety atypical time can be grown both in the open ground, where it is ready for digging already in 24-26 days, and in protected, there requires about the same time. As a result, a red, rounded root crop with a diameter of about ten centimeters is formed. The average mass of the root-crops is about 35 gr. The flesh of this sort of radish is white, very juicy and sweet. The flesh is white as snow, quite dense, crispy when eaten, very juicy and according to scientists, "jam-packed" with vitamins. Interestingly, the germination of seeds of this variety is always close to 100%.
So, as you have understood, to grow an autumn radish is as easy as the spring one, and given the fact that it stores quite well, you will still long enjoy its fresh root vegetables.