Radish / Raphanus sativus is a vegetable that grows well in tropical and temperate climates. In India, radish is called Mooli, Moolangi, Mula, Moongra, Moongre, Mogri etc. It comes in varies colors, namely white, purple, red and pink. The pink variety is sweet and the white one is bitter.
The leaves of radish are a rich source of vitamin A. It is a quick growing vegetable and there are many improved varieties available today. Some of these are Pusa Desi, Arka Nishant, Pusa Himani, Chinese Pink, Pusa Chetki, raphred, raphwhite, Japanese White, Kalyani White, White Icicle, Rapid red, white tip, etc. It is cultivated under glass-house conditions for early market, but large-scale cultivation in the field is more common. Being a quick growing crop, it can be easily planted as a companion crop or intercrop between the rows of the other vegetables. It can also be planted on ridges, separating one plot from another. It is cultivated all over India, especially near the city markets.
There are two distinct genetic groups in radish, namely the Asiatic varieties and the European varieties. The Asiatic variety is primarily for tropical climates and produces edible roots in the first season and seeds in the second season. The European varieties produce roots in the plains of tropical and subtropical climate and seeds in the hills of temperate climate. The pods are normally elongated and are sometimes like a top/bulb.
In India, it is grown in WB, Haryana, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, J&K, UP, Karnataka, Tripura and so on. Radish can be grown in hills and plains. Radish is pungent and is usually conical, white colored and about 25 cm – 40 cm in length. The Arka Nishant was developed in IIHR, Bangalore and takes about 40 – 45 days to mature. In each variety, the size varies and so does the harvesting period. Some dishes that can be made from Radish are mooli paratha, radish soup, Thechwani, mooli wala meat, Melon balls with Rocket and Radish, Mooli ki bhurji, mooli ki chutney, Radish salad, Pineapple and Mooli Kachumbar, etc.
Regular radish consumption promises health benefits such as radish is a cure for jaundice if consumed in the raw form. Raw Radish juice along with rock salt and black pepper is useful in treating diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Kidney and Liver-related issues as well as skin disorders. The vegetable acts as a cleanser and disinfectant of harmful toxins present in the liver, thereby facilitating treatment of jaundice. Not only this, radish comes packed with antioxidants and many essential nutrients that may treat and help manage many ailments.
They are enriched with vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, and have anti-cancer and anti-carcinogenic properties. They are rich in fiber and therefore aid in digestion and ease constipation. Regular consumption of Radish has also proved beneficial in relieving from a cough, cold and flu due to its anti-congestive properties. They are packed with vitamin C and help maintain immunity.
Image source – vegfru.com
Image source – indiamart.com
Image source – ananyaseeds.com
Process of growing Radish
⦁ Time / Season / Climatic Conditions –
Radish is a cool season crop and grows well in temperatures of 10 – 15 °C. Long days and high temperatures lead to bolting without root formation.
During summer the roots become tough and pungent and hence the vegetable is harvested when they are young and small in size. The pungency of Radish is higher at high temperatures.
June – July or March-August in hills and September or Nov – Dec in plains are best suited for Radish cultivation.
In Bangalore, it can be cultivated 8 – 10 months a year. In mild weather regions, it can be cultivated throughout the year.
⦁ Seed Rate / Spacing –
Radish is propagated by seeds. Use only good quality certified seeds. About 10 – 12 kg/ha seeds are required. Soak the seeds in naphthalene acetic acid @ 10 – 20 ppm before sowing. Radish is grown on ridges at 22 cm height and 45 cm apart. Seeds are planted 1.15 cm deep.
Seeds are sown by line sowing or broadcasting methods. Line sowing method is one where seeds and soil are mixed in the ratio of 1:4 and placed in rows manually over the ridges and covered by soil.
The broadcasting method is mixed the same way and the mixture is scattered over the field as evenly as possible followed by planking. Plants are spaced after germination while hoeing.
The spacing of 15 cm x 10 cm is normally adopted in radish cultivation. Radish seeds are normally dibbled in rows on raised beds. A spacing of 25 – 30 cm between rows and 10 cm between plants is adopted.
Spacing for table radish is 20 cm x 5 cm. Plant 2 seeds per hill and thin out one at germination.
⦁ Soil type / Land preparation / Irrigation –
Test the soil before sowing seeds. Sandy loam soils with high organic matter content are highly suited for radish cultivation. The highest yield can be obtained at a soil pH of 5.5 – 6.8. Roots of best size, flavor and texture are developed at about 15°C. Till the soil to 6-inch depth to make it lose and suitable for cultivation. Heavy soils should be avoided as they produce rough, misshaped roots.
Prepare the land by plowing 5 – 10 times to get fine tilth and plow to a depth of 30 – 40 cm. Care should be taken while preparing soil so as to avoid clods. First plowing is 30 cm deep. Each plowing is followed by planking. Soil sterilization can be achieved by physical and chemical means.
Physical means include steam and solar energy. Chemical means include usage of herbicides and fumigants. Transparent mulch films can also be used to sterilize the soil and the solar energy penetrates the plastic bag and sterilizes the soil. FYM manure should be mixed well at the time of sowing. Apply FYM @ 25 t/ha and 25kg N, 100 kg P and 50 kg K/ha as basal dressing and 25 kg N/ha after 30 days. Radish is a quick-growing crop. Hence the soil should be highly rich in plant nutrients.
Soil moisture is important for uniform seed germination and plant growth. Irrigate immediately after sowing seeds. Depending on the season and the soil moisture availability, radish maybe irrigated once or twice a week. Frequent irrigations should be avoided, but the field cannot be allowed to dry up as well.
If you choose to follow drip irrigation methods, then install the drip system with main and sub-main pipes and place the inline lateral tubes at an interval of 1.5. Place the dripper in lateral tubes at an interval of 60 cm and 50 cm spacing with 4LPH and 3.5 LPH capacities respectively. Form the raised beds at 120 cm width at an interval of 30cm and place the laterals at the center of each bed.
Radish needs frequent watering to keep the soil moist. Irrigate regularly for the first 4 – 5 days initially and then 3 – 4 days depending on rainfall.
⦁ Weed Management / Pest Control –
Regular weeding is required to keep weeds away. Rainy seasons require two weeding. At the second weeding, thinning of densely sown plants should be done. One earthing and one weeding during early stages is necessary for proper development of roots.
TOK E25 is applied as pre-emergence and helps control monocot and dicot weeds
Aphids, flea beetles and mustard, saw fly is controlled by spraying Malathion 50 EC 1 ml/liter twice or thrice @ 10-day intervals
White rust can be controlled by spraying Mancozeb 2 g/liter or Copper Oxychloride 2 g/liter
Alternia blight is controlled by spraying the crops with fungicides. Alternately you could use Copper oxychloride 0.5 – 0.75%, or Maneb 0.2%
White rust can be controlled by spraying destroying the diseased crop or spraying fungicides such as Bordauz 0.8% or Diethane Z78 0.3%
Downy mildew can be controlled by crop rotation or spraying Maneb 0.2%, 2 – 3 times at 10 days interval
Black rot can be controlled by crop rotation or spraying Agromycin 0.01%
Radish mosaic can be controlled by spraying Weedicides
For more such issues, please contact your local horticulturist
⦁ Harvesting –
Depending upon the cultivars, the roots become ready for harvesting in about 25 – 35 days after sowing. Early and rapid maturing European cultivars reach harvest maturity in 25 – 30 days after sowing. They become bitter and pithy if the harvesting is delayed. In India, harvesting is done manually. A light irrigation may be given before harvesting to facilitate lifting of roots. The Asiatic improved varieties produce 150 – 250 quintals roots/ha in 40 – 60 days.
After harvesting, the roots are properly washed, graded and tied in bundles. They can be put in wooden baskets and sent to markets. Radish roots cannot be stored for more than 2 – 3 days at room temperature. However, they can be stored for about two months in, cold storage at 0oC temperature with 90 – 95% relative humidity.
⦁ Benefits of Radish –
Nutritional Value of Radish – as per Wikipedia
Total Fat 0.1 g 0%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 39 mg 1%
Potassium 233 mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 3.4 g 1%
Dietary fiber 1.6 g 6%
Sugar 1.9 g
Protein 0.7 g 1%
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 24%
Calcium 2% Iron 1%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 5%
Vitamin B-12 0% Magnesium 2%
⦁ Regular radish consumption promises health benefits such as radish is a cure for jaundice if consumed in the raw form.
⦁ Raw Radish juice along with rock salt and black pepper is useful in treating diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Kidney and Liver-related issues as well as skin disorders.
⦁ The vegetable acts as a cleanser and disinfectant of harmful toxins present in the liver, thereby facilitating treatment of jaundice.
⦁ Not only this, radish comes packed with antioxidants and many essential nutrients that may treat and help manage many ailments.
⦁ They are enriched with vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, and have anti-cancer and anti-carcinogenic properties.
⦁ They are rich in fiber and therefore aid in digestion and ease constipation.
⦁ Regular consumption of Radish has also proved beneficial in relieving from cough, cold and flu due to its anti-congestive properties.
⦁ They are packed with vitamin C and help maintain immunity.
⦁ Radish is known to prevent piles, treats urinary disorders and is good for weight loss
⦁ It improves the cardiovascular system