Wit & Wisdom
Don’t be afraid to plant seeds that are up to five years old. All may not germinate, but you’ll have plenty that will.
Radishes are a hardy, cool-season vegetable that can produce many crops each season due to its rapid days to maturity. Radishes can be planted in both the spring and the fall, but growing should be suspended in the warmer months. They are a very easy vegetable to grow.
•Plant 4-6 weeks before the average date of last frost, after aged manure or organic fertilizer has been worked into soil.
•Direct sow seeds ½ inch to an inch deep and one inch apart in rows 12 inches apart.
•Thin to about 2-inch spacings. Crowded plants will not grow well.
•Radishes need sun. If they are planted in too much shade—or even where neighboring vegetable plants shade them—they put all their energy into producing larger leaves.
•Practice three-year crop rotation.
•Plant consecutively every two weeks or so while weather is still cool for a continuous harvest of radishes.
•Plan on a fall planting. You can plant radishes later than any other root crop in late summer or early fall and still get a harvest.
•Radishes require well-drained soil with consistent moisture. Keep soil evenly moist but not waterlogged.
•Thin radishes to about an inch apart when the plants are a week old. You will be amazed at the results.
•Cabbage Root Maggot
•Radishes will be ready to harvest quite rapidly, as three weeks after planting for some varieties.
•Do not leave in the ground long after mature stage, their condition will deteriorate quickly.
•Cut the tops off short, wash the radishes and dry them thoroughly. Store in plastic bags in the refrigerator.
•Radish greens can be stored separately for up to three days.
taken from http://www.almanac.com/plant/radishes
How about carrot planting?
Wit & Wisdom
•Carrots are biennial plants. If you leave them in the ground, the tops will flower and produce seeds the second year.
•Carrots have a long list of health benefits, not just those from Vitamin A. Read Carrots: Health Benefits!
•Carrots aren’t just great for humans—they make a great treat for your pets! Try this dog-friendly peanut butter carrot cake for your dog’s next birthday.
Carrots are a popular root vegetable that are easy to grow in sandy soil. Most varieties are resistant to pests and diseases, and they are also a good late season crop that can tolerate frost.Carrots’ root is rich in sugar, and a great source of vitamins and carotene. Not all carrots are orange; varieties vary in color from purple to white! If there is a challenge to growing carrots, it’s just having soil that’s not too heavy—or, you’ll end up with stunted round balls! Most carrot varieties need deep, loose soil.
They are grown from seed and take about four months to mature.
•Plan to plant seeds outdoors 3 to 5 weeks before the last spring frost date.
•Carrots are ideally grown in full sunlight, but can tolerate a moderate amount of shade.
•Plant seeds 3 to 4 inches apart in rows. Rows should be at least a foot apart.
•Make sure your soil is free of stones; carrots need deeply tilled soil that they can push through.
•Have you ever seen a carrot that has grown “legs” or forked? Fresh manure, or even recently applied rotted manure, can cause carrots to fork and send out little side roots. Don’t use it before you plant your seeds.
•Gently mulch to retain moisture, speed germination and block the sun from the roots.
•Soil should be well drained and loose to prevent forking and stunting of the root growth.
•Once plants are an inch tall, thin so they stand 3 inches apart. Snip them with scissors instead of pulling them out to prevent damage to the roots of remaining plants.
•Water at least one inch per week.
•Fertilize 5-6 weeks after sowing.
•Carrots taste much better after a couple of frosts. Following the first hard frost in the fall, cover carrot rows with an 18-inch layer of shredded leaves to preserve them for harvesting later.
•Get more tips for growing carrots.
•Aster Yellow Disease will cause shortened and discolored carrot tops and hairy roots. This disease is spread by pests as they feed from plant to plant. Keep weeds down and invest in a control plan for pests such as leafhoppers. This disease has the ability to overwinter.
•Carrots are mature at around 2 ½ months and ½ inch in diameter. You may harvest whenever desired maturity is reached.
•You may leave mature carrots in the soil for storage if the ground will not freeze.
•To store freshly harvested carrots, twist off the tops, scrub off the dirt under cold running water, let dry and seal in airtight plastic bags, and refrigerate. If you simply put fresh carrots in the refrigerator, they’ll go limp in a few hours.
•Carrots can be stored in tubs of moist sand for winter use.
•Nantes varieties are 6 to 7 inches long, cylindrical (not tapered), and entirely edible. They are medium-sized, sweet and mild, and have a crisp texture.
•Danvers carrots are a classic heirloom carrot 6 to 8” long that tapers at the end, with a rich, dark orange color. This variety can handle heavy soil better than most varieties.
•‘Little Finger’ is a small Nantes type of carrot only 4 inches long and one inch thick. Great for containers.
•‘Bolero’: resists most leaf pests.
•‘Thumberline’: round carrot, good for clumpy or clay soil.
taken from http://www.almanac.com/plant/carrots
Till next time this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty, Iowa
Hi! My name is Becky and I am a Master Gardener. I own Becky's Greenhouse in Dougherty, Iowa.