Those Rattail Radishes

We removed the remaining plants from the Demo Garden today, and I’ll share those pictures and thoughts with you over the next few weeks. I wanted to start with this one, though!

The Rattail Radishes are grown for their edible seed pods that can be stir-fried or eaten raw. From that standpoint, our planting was a bit of a failure. If I had thought it through before, I would have realized that expecting a root vegetable to bolt in the fall was a sketchy proposition.

Only one of the plants managed to bolt and flower. Even then, only a few of the flowers turned into seed pods before it got too cold. Those green spikes in the middle of the picture? Those were the two, lonely “rattails” from this endeavor. The exciting part was pulling the plants up!

Look at those roots! That one huge one is at least 15″ long. You can see, looking at these, why some types of radishes are recommended for planting as cover crops. Those roots can help loosen clay soil, and they mine the deeper soil for nutrients. Then those nutrients are available in the upper part of the soil as the plants decompose after freezing in the winter. Anyway, these roots aren’t really meant for consumption (although I’m sure you could eat them if you wanted to), but we wanted to cut the big one open to see what the inside looked like.

As you can see, there’s a nice crack down the center of the root. It was probably caused by moisture fluctuation or overly fast growth. I did taste a piece of it, and it was really watery and fairly bland. The texture wasn’t completely pithy yet, but it was getting there. Yuck!

About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on November 19, 2013, in Harvesting & Eating, Plant & Garden Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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