Radishes are a tangy welcome to spring, and they’re so easy to grow that most gardening books ignore them (except mine — heh). They can be sown the same time as peas — a month or more before last frost date, with repeated plantings as you like. Since I hate rules, I break the radish police rules also, and rather than sow them an inch apart I broadcast them by hand into a wide bed, then cover with compost or good earth.
I don’t even thin them. Why bother? Just start a new bed. Besides, the greens are more nutritious than the radish, so we “thin” them that way for salads.
GROWING: Like beets, radishes do best if grown fast and damp. That also improves the flavor. They mature so quickly (often 3-4 weeks) that weed control isn’t a problem. A thin layer of mulch helps hold in soil moisture, however.
My favorite for the market is Cherry Belle for its taste and because is looks so perfect and … radishy. For home use I prefer French breakfast radishes because they hold so long without losing flavor, and look … well, kinda cute.
Keep in mind that radishes love cool weather, and may not taste as good – if they germinate at all, or don’t bolt – in the heat and dryness of summer. But hey, give it a shot in the shade of tomatoes or corn, or even undersown around broccoli and the like. I mean, what’s this all about? Perfection, rules? Nah. Just fun.