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The calorie content of this vegetable from the Cabbage family is only 19 kcal per 100 grams of product, and a separate article is needed to list its beneficial properties. Yes, we're talking about radishes.
Want to make the path of this root crop from bed to table shorter? Grow on your own balcony! And your okroshka will become tastier.
In this article, we will talk about the features of home growing of radishes, how to prepare the soil and sow seeds, as well as when and how to harvest.
Can you plant at home?
Radish is one of the few vegetables that have been able to grow on the International Space Station. If the cosmonauts coped with the task in zero gravity, then we can, at home. By the way, this unassuming culture is suitable for those who are going to arrange a home garden for the first time. We tell you in detail what needs to be done to harvest the first crop.
Features of the
Radish is a hardy plant that can withstand up to -3 ° C. This vegetable does not like heat. And a high temperature (more than +25) can even lead to the fact that it begins to bloom, the fruits will become tough and rather bitter. That is why the balcony will be the most suitable place for growing radishes in an apartment. Ideally, it faces south - the more light, the better.
Differences from growing on a windowsill
If it's too cold on the balcony, you can set up a mini-vegetable garden on the windowsill. But here a problem is possible: radishes do not like high temperatures, and therefore hot radiators. This can make it difficult to create a suitable environment.
Learn more about growing radishes on a windowsill here.
Home conditions for cultivating radish
For any plant grown at home, it is important to create a suitable microclimate, which consists of the following factors:
- air humidity.
At room temperature, the stem of the radish will stretch, bend, and the roots will become flabby and tasteless. Suitable for growing at home will be 12-18 ° C heat.
The optimal light regime is 12 hours. Increasing the lighting period can lead to flowering. But for high yields, it is important that the plant receives the amount of light it needs. And if the balcony faces the north side, you should think about additional lighting.
From time to time, humidify the air above your garden with a spray bottle: radishes like 65-80% humidity.
What container should the seeds be placed in?
A wooden box is suitable for planting radishes on the balcony. or a container from several compartments. In this case, the height of the walls should be at least 15 cm. But you can simplify your task by choosing plastic bottles with a volume of 1.5-2 liters as pots for growing radishes. In the bottom of such a container, you need to make drain holes - radishes do not like overflow.
The right time
In central Russia, the best time to plant radish beds on the balcony is April and May. The air temperature at this time rises to +10 ° C, and daylight hours increase. You can experiment with timing by starting planting in February.
Growing step by step
When choosing a radish variety for your home garden, buy early ripening species, capable of producing a crop in 3-4 weeks from planting. Drought tolerance and adaptability to low light are also important.
Here's what to look for in the store's assortment:
- "16 days", probably the earliest variety of radishes. Large, bright red fruits are ready for harvest within 16-18 days after sowing. If not collected in time, they can become harsh.
- Diego - hybrid up to 5 cm in diameter. The ripening period is 18-25 days. It perfectly tolerates low temperatures, and its fruits remain juicy and crispy for a long time.
- "Deka" - can be served 20-30 days after germination. Raspberry roots grow more than 3 cm and are in no hurry to release arrows that can bloom and spoil the crop. The "Champion" will be ready for use in 25-28 days from disembarkation. In this case, do not be afraid that the roots will become sluggish or hollow.
- "French breakfast" - is famous for its early ripening, as well as the fact that its pink radishes remain tender and crispy for a long time after ripening.
- "Carmen" - 20-24 days before harvest. Beautiful bright red fruits with juicy, sharp pulp.
Where and how much can you buy seeds?
It is not a problem to buy seeds of a wide variety of vegetables today: you can see racks with them in ordinary supermarkets and specialized stores. And the price for a bag of seeds will average 15-20 rubles. It is worth paying attention to the manufacturer: it must be tested and well-established.
As a soil for radishes, a universal mixture for vegetable crops is suitable. - it is not difficult to find it in any shop for gardeners and gardeners. It is saturated with oxygen, humus and minerals. Collecting land on the street is not the best option. It may contain insects that can destroy the crop. By the way, many home gardeners, before planting, even calcined purchased soil in the oven in order to destroy pathogenic microflora.
It is very important to create optimal lighting. To do this, you can use fluorescent lamps or phytolamps. The latter are made on the basis of LED panels, do not consume a lot of electricity and give out a favorable spectrum of light for plants, which contributes to their early ripening. Also useful are garden gloves, a spray bottle, a mini rake, or a loosening scoop.
Before planting, you need to sort out the seeds and remove the seeds with damage or stains. - in general, anything that looks suspicious. The correct seeds will be:
- the same size;
- Brown color;
- without gray bloom and musty odor.
The quality of the seeds can also be checked in a simple "old-fashioned" way: pour water over and let stand for some time. Defective grains will remain at the top; those that have sunk to the bottom can be used.
The day before sowing, the seeds should be soaked in a very weak solution of potassium permanganate: this will help disinfect the surface and protect the seedlings from infections. By the way, soaking in wet gauze will help germination of seeds, especially those that have been waiting for their turn for a long time. But only if the grains are not treated with a special substance that accelerates plant growth.
Planting the seeds into the substrate can be carried out in an apartment, and only then put the container with seedlings on the balcony. For this:
- moisten the soil well, but not to the state of a swamp;
- make indentations of 1.5-2 cm in the ground;
- if there are several seeds in one pot, make a distance of at least 6 cm between plantings;
- dip one seed into each planting hole;
- sprinkle the seeds with soil;
- moisten the soil with water from a spray bottle;
- Cover the pot with plastic wrap to keep the soil from drying out.
3-4 days after the appearance of the first shoots, the covering film must be removed. And then completely go to hardening the seedlings. To do this, place the pot in a room with a temperature of 6-8 ° C for a couple of days. This is enough for the radish seedlings to adapt to the new temperature regime and withstand a possible sharp change in the microclimate. In the future, adhere to a growing temperature of 16-18 ° C.
You need to water the radish as the soil dries. water at room temperature. Overflow can lead to root rot.
It is useful to loosen the soil around young seedlings from time to time to ensure better oxygen penetration to the roots. A regular tap will do, but let it sit for 2-3 days.
The early maturity of radish reduces the need for fertilizing and the use of fertilizers, which makes it truly environmentally friendly. But for better yields, you can use vermicompost for potatoes, radishes or carrots, following the instructions on the package. Also, some gardeners two weeks before harvesting carry out top dressing with a solution based on potassium salt: 15-17 g - per 10 liters of water. If there is not enough natural light on the balcony, use additional lighting.
When and how to collect?
Harvesting radish begins selectively, as the roots ripen. It is difficult to miss the right moment: the fruits will already be visible on the surface. As soon as they reach a size of 1-3 cm, then you can collect. Do not overdo it: the radish will lose its juiciness and crack.
What if there are frosts at night? If the weather forecast promises a strong drop in temperature, you need to cover the pot with foil, making it look like a greenhouse. Plant lighting will also raise the temperature.
Growing radishes on the balcony will provide vitamins for the whole season, because the crop can be harvested several times. And most importantly, radishes grown with their own hands are many times tastier than the one on the counter. See for yourself!