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How Do I Choose the Best Radish Seeds?

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  • Written By: Jeremy Laukkonen
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 04 September 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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The process of selecting the best radish seeds can depend on whether you are harvesting seeds from your own plants or buying seeds commercially. If you are saving seeds from radishes that you grew in your garden, you should choose seeds only from the most robust plants. Any radishes that failed to grow large bulbs should be picked before the flowers can open in order to avoid crossing your good plants with the inferior genes. If you are just interested in the best radish seeds to buy commercially, you should look for a variety that fits well with your local climate. Radishes are also classified as spring, summer, or winter, so you should choose seeds that are appropriate for the time of year you would like to plant or harvest your crop.

Radishes are root vegetables in the same family as broccoli, cabbage, and turnips. They originated in Europe thousands of years ago, and are grown and eaten all around the world today. Most of them are somewhat spherical, though some have substantially elongated roots. The root bulbs are the parts of these plants that get harvested for food, though radish greens can also be eaten. If they are left in the ground long enough, radishes will produce small flowers and go to seed.

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One of the best ways to ensure you have a radish strain that is well suited to your local climate is to save seeds each year. This method of choosing good radish seeds relies on identifying the best radishes from each crop. You should leave the radishes undisturbed as they grow, though you can carefully brush soil away from the crowns to inspect the progress. Once you have identified the most desirable radishes from a crop, narrow it down to about two and then just leave them in the ground. In the meantime, you should pick any smaller, undesirable radishes before they can go to seed in order to avoid crossing those genes with the plants you intend to harvest seeds from.

If you are just interested in the best commercially available radish seeds, you should focus on varieties that are already well suited to your local climate. That might mean selecting a spring or winter variety for planting in the summer, if you live in an especially cool climate. Otherwise, you might want to choose spring, summer, and winter varieties to use in multiple plantings throughout the year. In addition to choosing varieties that are suited to your climate, you should also look for radish seeds that are no more than a few years old. They should also have been stored in a location that was cool, dry, and not exposed to too much sunlight.

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