Also known as an Oriental radish and Chinese radish, the icicle variety is a type of Daikon root vegetable believed to have originated in the Mediterranean region. Sometime around 500 B.C. it was taken to China where it was cultivated. Today Daikon is produced in Japan on a large scale. Requiring plenty of moisture to assure crisp texture and good flavor, icicle radishes mature in about 27 days after planting from seed. California and Texas are major commercial producers.
Low in calories, a three ounce serving contains about 18 calories. A source of vitamin C, icicle radishes contain active enzymes that aid digestion. The nutritious leaves are rich in vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium and iron.
Spacing: 2” – 3″
Height: 8″ – 12”
Optimum Soil Ph: 5.5 to 6.8
Days To Maturity: 25
Sowing Method: Outdoors
When preparing the soil, avoid fresh manure and organic materials or fertilizers high in nitrogen. An overly rich soil will encourage lush foliage at the expense of crisp, tasty roots. When the radish seedlings are about two inches tall, thin the plants to three-inch spacings. If not thinned, you’re likely to end up with shriveled, inedible roots. Mulch the radishes with compost enriched with wood ashes. This not only keeps root maggots at bay, but also helps the soil retain moisture that could mean the difference between perfect and pitiful radishes. Water in moderation. If the soil is too dry, radishes will bolt and become pithy and too pungent to eat. If too wet, the roots will split and rot. Never let the soil dry out, but don’t keep it mucky, either. Radishes are superb companion plants, particularly when used to draw aphids, flea beetles, and other pests away from peppers, squash, cukes, and other vegetables.