How to Grow Winter Radishes

Winter radishes are not often grown in the UK, though they are popular in the Far East as a winter vegetable. They can grow very large, and although some milder varieties are eaten raw as a salad vegetable, others are very hot. The long white moolis now available in the supermarket are a type of winter radish.

Like other oriental vegetables, winter radishes are a useful follow-on crop after an earlier vegetable has been harvested, because they are best sown from July onwards.



Sow winter radishes in summer, after the longest day, or they will run to seed. Sow the seed directly into open ground in seed drills lcm deep and 25cm apart. If the soil is dry, water the drill thoroughly before sowing.


Thin the seedlings to 15cm apart, to give them plenty of room to produce large roots. They will need little attention during the summer and autumn.


Roots should be large enough to harvest when they have developed the shape and skin color characteristic of the variety. Before this, they are likely to be hotter-flavored and will not store.


The roots can be left in the ground, but may be damaged by frost or slugs. Cover the rows with a layer of straw. Once mature, the roots can also be lifted and stored indoors.


Cut off the leaves to within 5cm of the root; removing the leaves prevents the stored roots drying out. Stand the roots upright in a box and pack damp sand round them. Leave the tops exposed to the air to prevent rotting. In a cool but frost-free place they will keep for months.

The fiery flavor is usually close to the skin, so the depth of peeling will affect their taste. Cooking also reduces the strength of the flavor, and cooked winter radish will be milder, as well as more tender. Hot varieties such as ‘Black Spanish’ can be overpoweringly hot raw, but are tastier when cooked. Milder radishes, while better raw, can become bland when cooked.

Use winter radish grated raw in salads, marinated in vinegar or soy sauce or instead of onion in hamburgers. Use them diced as a substitute for turnip in stews and casseroles or roast with the Sunday joint in place of parsnips.

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About the Author: Greenery always attracts Arthur Kunkle. He has a big garden where he plants many fruits and vegetables. His passion for gardening motivates him to write and share different tips on gardening.

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