A young, juicy radish is probably the most anticipated of the first spring vegetables with which the beds delight us, when, after a long winter and an order of boring pickles, we so want to enjoy a salad of green onions and fresh radishes, or even just crunch with your favorite vegetable, just picking it from the garden. But for all its apparent simplicity, radishes, like all garden crops, require adherence to certain rules of growing and harvesting so that the harvest will please you. Of course, the radishes need to be grown before harvesting. We talked about this in detail in other articles, and today we'll talk about how to properly harvest.
Growing and harvesting crispy radishes does not cause much trouble, of course, if you did not set out on an industrial scale of several hectares, but limited yourself to planting a vegetable on an area of several square meters. m. But even if your root crop plantation has an impressive size of 1 or more hectares, there will be no additional difficulties in care, and the process will simply take longer. It is possible to facilitate the care of large-scale plantings on several hectares if you purchase special agricultural equipment, for example, a radish harvester.
In order for the beds with your favorite vegetable to give a maximum of root crops, the harvest is harvested in several stages, with an interval of several days. As a rule, early varieties ripen faster, therefore, they can be harvested first, when plants of other varieties are still actively growing. If the roots of early varieties are left in the soil for at least a few days longer than the prescribed period, they will deteriorate very quickly. Late varieties of radish require a longer period for full ripening, however, it has better transport and storage properties. Winter radishes can be successfully preserved in the soil even during the winter, however, for this they need to be covered with a protective layer of mulch (for example, straw).
As a rule, early radish varieties bear fruit within 30 days after sowing, winter varieties are ready for harvesting in 60 days. But regardless of the variety and ripening period, it is very important not to miss the moment when you can harvest. If you do not do this in time, then the roots will become flabby and lethargic, and also acquire a bitter taste.
When harvesting root crops, great attention should be paid to their size: mature radishes should exceed 2.5 cm in diameter.
There are several rules for when and how you can pick your favorite root vegetable:
The radishes are removed by simply pulling on the tops. If we are talking about industrial cultivation on an area of several hectares, then farmers use a radish harvester - an excellent assistant, capable not only of efficiently collecting root crops, but also effectively cleaning them from tops. Such a harvester is simply irreplaceable if the task is to collect radishes from huge areas of tens of hectares, while planting on several square meters. m can be easily processed by hand.
So, if, after all, such a luxury as a harvester is not yet available to you, then we collect your favorite vegetable by ordinary pulling it out of the ground.
If the growing conditions were respected, and the plantings were properly thinned out, then you can easily pull out only the desired plant without harming the neighboring root crops.
Immediately after harvesting, the tops must be cut off from each root crop. Sometimes green mass is used for cooking. A modern food processor is able to prepare a delicious salad from it in a matter of seconds. But if such dishes are not for you, just throw it away.
The harvested radishes are stored in a refrigerator (or special refrigerating chambers if the crop was harvested from several hectares).
In order to get seeds, some of the plants will have to be left in the ground. It should be remembered that the roots of such plants will not be edible.
After the main plantings of the radish are harvested, the plants intended to give seeds are continued to be cared for as usual. A few days will pass, and pods will appear on them, in which seeds are formed: at first, each plant knocks out a stem, on which nondescript flowers appear, and they, in turn, quickly turn into pods.
When the pods begin to dry out and turn yellow, they can be harvested. Sometimes such pods with seeds are eaten - they are great for vegetable vitamin salads. If your goal is seed, then the seeds need to be dried. Radish seeds, ready for storage, are brown in color and stored in a hermetically sealed container.
As a rule, to get seed, which is enough for several square meters. m, a dozen or so plants are enough. In turn, in order to sow more than 1 hectare, several square meters can be left for seeds. m of plants.
The rules for harvesting both the radish harvest and its seeds are the same for all scales: when you have to manage a huge plantation of ten hectares, and if your garden occupies only a few square meters. Observe simple conditions of care and storage, and, possibly, the crop you harvested from 1 sq. m of beds will be better than many get from a hectare. Maybe the days when you also need a radish harvester are not far away? After all, the main thing in gardening is not the number of square meters. m of soil, but how to care for them.
This video demonstrates how to harvest a radish if you left it for seed.
It is important to maintain a normal level of soil moisture and the desired temperature. The latter indicator changes repeatedly over the entire growing season of the radish. For example, during the first 2 - 3 days from the moment of planting, the temperature should be 15 - 18 degrees Celsius. When the first shoots are visible, it is required to reduce it to 8 - 10. When the tops grow back, the culture for full development requires a temperature of 15 - 20 degrees Celsius. In such conditions, you can count on the normal formation of root crops. It also requires daily watering. After germination, you can water the beds 1 time every couple of days.
After each procedure, it is imperative to ventilate the greenhouse. This is to prevent the development of fungal infections in the culture. Airing is also important if the temperature rises above + 20 - 22 degrees. For radishes, 12 hours of daylight is extremely important. In winter, it is necessary to create additional lighting. Top dressing is applied to the soil only if the land is depleted due to the growing of early vegetables on it. To keep your radish free from fungal infections, spray it with a solution of ash and soap. It can be easily made at home using 1 cup of ash and about 50 grams of soap per 10 liters of water.
What should city dwellers do who do not have their own basement or cellar? The radish does not stay in the refrigerator for long, 4-5 weeks at most. Try freezing? You don't even have to try, after defrosting, you get outright nonsense: a rag lump with a puddle of thawed water.
But there is still a way out. Well, who said that only fresh radishes can be stored? It makes delicious homemade products. Marinated, she is practically the queen of the table! And the world famous radish chips? Nobody forbids making them at home on your own.
Advice. Before making new blanks or twists for the winter, you must first make a small portion, then try it. In winter, it will be a pity for the time, effort and food wasted, if the marinade or salad is not to your taste.
It is recommended to hang cut stems with leaves and flowers in bunches in a dry and normally ventilated room, where sunlight does not penetrate. Suitable as a room in an apartment, and a barn or attic. You can spread the raw material on the surface of paper or a clean cloth. Only a thin layer is required so that the grass dries well. When the culture is placed on the floor, it must be turned over at least 2 times during the entire drying period.
The use of an oven is not advised. The herb dried in it can lose a large number of its healing qualities. Dried mint is usually stored in a cardboard box, glass jar with a lid, or a cloth bag during the winter. It is permissible to grind dried herb into powder. But it should be stored in a tightly closed container. And, unlike a whole dry product, it can lose many of its beneficial properties. Dried twigs or powder are not recommended to be stored for more than 2 years.