Learn everything about How to Grow Watermelon Radish to enjoy this tasty and exotic variety fresh in salads all year round!
Follow our guide on How to Grow Watermelon Radish to relish its sweet + peppery flavor in your dishes and salads after picking it right from your home garden!
Learn the Best Types of Radish for Containers here
Watermelon Radish Information
With a delicious pink flesh and creamy white-green bottom, watermelon radish is a Daikon heirloom variety that belongs to the mustard family. It is popular as ShinRi-Mei in Chinese, which means “Beauty in the Heart,” which shows up once you slice the vegetable.
What Does Watermelon Radish Taste Like?
Watermelon radish has a mild taste with sweet and peppery notes. Unlike other radishes, the vegetable’s flavor mell down once you cook or saute it.
Thinly slice or grate them for a fresh salad. You can also relish them raw, cooked, pickled, roasted, and braised like tomato or turnip, or mash them like rutabaga!
Are Radish Leaves Edible? Know here
How to Grow Watermelon Radish?
You can start watermelon radish seeds directly outdoors during June–July if you live in a region with cold winters and July–Aug if you live in a region with mild winters.
- Buy good-quality seeds from an online store or a garden center.
- Ensure the soil temperature is 40°F or 4°C before planting the seeds directly.
- Sprinkle the seeds in rows 1-2 inches apart in rich, fertile, and well-draining soil.
- Cover with a thin layer of soil and water well.
- After the seedlings reach a height of 2-3 inches, thin them 2-3 inches apart. Watermelon radishes grow up to 3-4 inches in diameter and require space to grow even bigger.
- Safeguard them from insects, pests, and birds.
Planting Watermelon Radish in Containers
Pick a container that’s at least 6-8 inches deep, which will be good for 1-2 plants. If you want to grow multiple radishes, then pick a pot that’s a minimum of 12-16 inches wide. Do remember to space them 3 to 4 inches apart.
Learn How to Grow Radish in Pots here
Growing Requirements for Watermelon Radish
The more sun the plant is going to get, the better it will for its growth. Make sure it gets a minimum of 4-6 hours f direct sunlight every day. If you grow them in the excess shade, the plants will divert their energy into growing more leaves than bulbs.
Watermelon radishes love fertile, well-draining sandy or loamy soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH. Add a handful or two of compost or well-rotted manure at planting.
These radishes usually grow slower than most radish varieties. Ensure you water deeply and never allow the pots to dry out completely, especially in the first few weeks. Reach for the can when you see the topsoil a little dry.
Remember that soggy soil and overly wet conditions are avoidable as drought.
Watermelon Radishes love a temperature between 40-85 F or 4-29 C and grow best with temperatures above 60 F or 15 C.
A rise in temperature than 70 F or 21 C can lead to a decline in the quality and bolting of the plants. The plants can even get spongy, woody, or tough with hollow centers.
Also, remember that a radish bolt leads to the death of the bulbs as it stops forming.
Watermelon Radish Care
If you grow your watermelon radishes in rich, fertile soil, you do not need to feed them. For large bulbs, use a low nitrogen formula like 5-10-10, diluted to half of its strength, once in 3-4 weeks.
Amend the soil by mixing 2-4 inches of organic matter with a 10:10:10 or 16:16:8 blend. Do refer to the label for dosage and instructions.
There is no need for any pruning on the watermelon radish plants beyond thinning of the seedlings. Do not overcrowd the plants, as they need enough space to grow properly.
Snip off the seedlings at the ground level instead of pulling them out from the soil. You can use them as microgreens in salads!
Pests & Diseases
Cabbage maggots tunnel into radishes while cutworms love to feed on them. Also, be careful of flea beetles as they can wreak havoc on leaves.
Use a strong jet of water weekly or an insecticidal soap solution to keep them at bay.
Common diseases like black root, scab, and downy mildew can affect watermelon radishes. Avoid overwatering and crowding the plants together to save the plant from these issues.
Here’s a List of Vegetables You Can Grow From Slices
Harvesting & Storing Watermelon Radish
Once you see the shoulders of the watermelon radishes rising above the soil line slightly, they are ready for harvest. Gently pull one radish out of the soil to check if it’s ready. Do not overwait for harvest as it can lead to a loss of the soft texture and flavor. To harvest, follow these steps:
- Carefully pull out the vegetable. That’s it!
- Allow the leaves to remain to let the bulb draw nutrients and moisture.
You can store them in a dry, cool place for 25-30 days, and the method is similar to storing apples and potatoes. Do remember that they taste best when eaten fresh.
What is Watermelon Radishes Good For?
Thinly slice watermelon radishes, sprinkle rice wine vinegar and oil, or chopped scallions and lemon juice for a plate of colorful salad.
One of the everyday things to do is to pickle them. Pickled radishes are very delicious.
Before using the watermelon radish, wash them well and remove any debris or dirt using water and a veggie scrubber. You can eat the whole radish without any peeling.