Sunday, May 16, 2010

Advice for the Lazy Gardener: Radishes!

Some of you may recall my approach to lettuce. It just so happens, I take a similar hippie approach to radishes. I don't always plant them, but I always have them owing to the fact that I usually let a few bloom and drop their seeds everywhere. This year I was delighted to find that I finally have some hybrid radishes. The crop is long, like a white radish, but have a slightly milder flavor and some color on them like the little red radishes. I like this because (a) they're bigger than the teeny red radishes, and (b) the horseradish-like flavor of those white radishes is a bit much for me. Not that I don't like spicy, just not that type.

Another reason I let my radishes go to seed is they young seed pods are a right tasty snack as a fresh munchie of salad topping. But here again, the white radishes produce a very strong seed pod, that while lovely pickled, is not to my taste fresh. Hopefully these hybrids will find a nice balance somewhere in-between.

Flowers are a standard brassica-type shape and color (yellow), held on a big, bushy inflorescence. To store seed, let the pods mature and dry, and select branches with no evidence of mould. Then crush open the dry pods and sift out the seed. To let them do their 'thing' in the garden, just knock the seed pods off the dry stems or let them fall on their own. The seeds may or may not actually come out of the pods, but they often still manage to germinate through them. I never put any effort into that part, that's why its called "Lazy Gardening."

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