This past week I harvested my first ever good crop of radishes:
|From left to right:|
1 Scarlet Globe, 2 Easter Egg & 5 French Breakfast
But my radish harvests were always mediocre - I would harvest a few adequately sized bulbs, but most would either be fairly small or even nonexistent as the plant would bolt before it formed a bulb. I wasn't sure what the problem was until Mark made a comment in one of his posts last year about poor growth on radishes if they were planted with other crops that shaded them out. The light bulb went on at that point - that is exactly what I had been doing. I would plant the seeds in long rows in between other brassicas such as collards and bok choy, and then these plants quickly overshadowed the radishes. My few good radishes were likely those that were planted near the edge of the bed.
Just to give you a better idea what a big difference planting the radishes in their own spot made - my first harvest of Scarlet Globe last year weighed in at 38 grams (1.34 oz) for 4 radishes; this year the single Scarlet Globe I harvested so far weighted 20 grams (0.71 oz). That's twice as large as the bulbs I harvested last year.
|An Easter Egg & French Breakfast Radish|
In hand for perspective
|White Russian on the left; Red Russian on the right|
I harvested the largest leaves from both varieties - you can see the difference in the photo above. At this stage, I'm not sure if this is because Red Russian is actually smaller or if it simply doesn't grow as quickly as the White Russian.
I use Russian kale primarily raw - it's tender, easier to clean than curly kale, and has just enough texture to work well in a salad. Jo had asked if there was a difference in taste between the white & red varieties, so I did a bit of a comparison. Although there is not a huge difference between them, I did find the white variety to be slightly sweeter & not as strongly flavoured as the red. Now, this is based on what the leaves taste like raw and these differences may be muted or disappear entirely if the kale is cooked.
Also harvested this past week was some spinach. All of the Galilee & a couple of the Viroflay were bolting. I pulled the bolting plants and harvested what I could from them, which wasn't all that much, especially from the Galilee. For that one, even the tiny seedlings that germinated from directly sown seeds were bolting.
Also harvested but not photographed was the little onion from last years onion bed that overwintered; I used it up as a green onion.
My harvest totals this week were:
Radishes – 164 grams (0.36 lbs)
Kale - 188 grams (0.41 lbs)
Bunching Onions - 28 grams (0.06 lbs)
Spinach - 194 grams (0.43 lbs)
Total for Week – 574 grams (1.27 lbs)
Total to Date – 1.77 kg (3.91 lbs)
To see what everyone else has been harvesting over the past week, head on over to Daphne’s Dandelions, our host for Harvest Mondays.
Till next time…