garden5
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Radishes boliting: why and what to do next?

Well, as you have probably guessed, the radishes are starting to bolt. I planted them on Apr. 24, but a few days of unseasonably warm temperature may be the culprit. Also, they were planted in an area that tends to stay very moist, but I don't think that caused the bolting. Interesting enough, though, is that it's only at the one end of the row that they are bolting.

Some have been harvested already, but some of the ones that have bolted are still extremely small. If I cut the flower stalk off of them, do you think that the root will enlarge?

Thanks.
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Ozark Lady
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All of my radishes bolted! And when I pulled them out, there were no radishes at all. Even radishes that were a good distance from the others. All they did was grow to bolt.
And the green peas that I planted the same day as the radishes, grew and did great, as did the onions and garlic. Just the radishes and lettuce did lousy!
I pulled mine out, and intend to plant something in their place.
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garden5
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Ozark Lady wrote:All of my radishes bolted! And when I pulled them out, there were no radishes at all. Even radishes that were a good distance from the others. All they did was grow to bolt.
And the green peas that I planted the same day as the radishes, grew and did great, as did the onions and garlic. Just the radishes and lettuce did lousy!
I pulled mine out, and intend to plant something in their place.
Wow, that sound just like what happened to my radishes! It's just like you said, they grew to seed and did not even develop a root. Did your area perhaps have a lot of water where the radishes were?
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TWC015
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I planted some radishes in early March and those made nice roots. I intentionally left some in the ground and they flowered. The root of the flowering radishes is now nearly onion size and the plants have fallen over because they are too heavy.

The seeds I planted did not all come up at the same time; some came up about a month later and these radishes bolted without making a large root.

I assume it has to do with the increasing heat and longer days, though I do not know if radishes are sensitive to day length.

I don't think the root will be edible if you cut off the flowers though; once the plant bolts, the process already started and the root becomes woody (as I've heard; I haven't tested one of my flowering radishes).

My plants also stopped growing the root once the flowers opened and set seeds, in fact, they stopped growing foliage after flowering, like all my brassicas do.

DoubleDogFarm
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This is from the Burpee Seed site.

GROWING TIPS
Consider the following five tips to get the best radishes production.

When preparing the soil, avoid fresh manure and organic materials or fertilizers high in nitrogen. An overly rich soil will encourage lush foliage at the expense of crisp, tasty roots.

When the seedlings are about two inches tall, thin the plants to three-inch spacings. If not thinned, you're likely to end up with shriveled, inedible roots.

Mulch the radishes with compost enriched with wood ashes. This not only keeps root maggots at bay, but also helps the soil retain moisture that could mean the difference between perfect and pitiful radishes.

Water in moderation. If the soil is too dry, radishes will bolt and become pithy and too pungent to eat. If too wet, the roots will split and rot. Never let the soil dry out, but don't keep it mucky, either.

Radishes are superb companion plants, particularly when used to draw aphids, flea beetles, and other pests away from peppers, squash, cukes, and other vegetables.

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jal_ut
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When radishes bolt, they are done. If they don't have a nice edible root before they bolt, they will not grow one.

Radishes do best in full sun and with at least 2 inches of space between plants. If they are crowded they won't develop the large root. If the soil dries, they will bolt. It takes about 60 days, or less, for many varieties to make a nice root. After that time period, they are going to bolt whether they have made a nice root or not.

I have had good luck here planting radishes all season. It is important to keep them damp. I like to mix a bit of sand with my soil in the radish bed and some compost then place the seed 2 inches apart. Yes, I will place each seed to maintain the spacing. In doing this almost every plant will make a nice root.

They need to make good growth early in the first days after emergence. This is when the root is developed.
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Ozark Lady
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Notice the comments about too dry.

I did water the garden, but this spring has been so very dry, that I am struggling with many crops that are water sensitive.

Looks like I need to go for drought crops only this year.

So much for watermelon and cantaloupes! If too dry for radishes, no way will they survive.
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jal_ut
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Watermelon may surprise you. They have a fantastic root system. They are dry farmed in Southern Utah.
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Ozark Lady
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I love watermelons, but not the prices of them at the store.

Okay, worth a try! Worst thing can happen is it dies, right?

If I don't try, I already don't get watermelons!
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TWC015
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Ozark Lady:

I think you should do watermelons. They have a deep taproot.

Also, I planted some watermelons and have not had to water them; I haven't had a good soaking rain in a month (nor have I watered them) and the watermelons are thriving. The plants are still quite young as well.

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Ozark Lady
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Cool, okay, will do.

Jefferson county, where is that, n,s,e,w etc?

I know alot of Arkansas counties, but not that one. I never claimed to know all of them, though!
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TWC015
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It is in southeast Arkansas, Pine Bluff is in the county, but I live in west central Jefferson county, outside Pine Bluff.

I'm finally getting some rain right now, not enough though; hopefully I'll get more soon.

garden5
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Funnily enough, my radishes never dried out, but were actually in the moist part of the garden so they were consistently damp. Maybe they were too moist?

Does it take only a few days of heat to make them bolt because that's what I had early-on this season. It wasn't sweltering hot, but was much warmer than usual.
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Ozark Lady
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I don't know, I do know that one year, I planted them so early it was ridiculous, and had fantastic luck with radishes. Perhaps they just really hate the heat?
My green peas are just now, stopping, because I didn't pick any peas off at all, I am letting every one of them go to seed. And I know that means the plants will stop growing. So, I am not sure if that is heat induced or just "mission accomplished".

Hey, I have been to Pine Bluff, I just didn't recognize the county! It's a pretty town.
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TWC015
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You must not have been to Pine Bluff recently. I can't call it pretty but maybe that's because I live nearby and see it often.

I think radishes do indeed just hate heat. Even with plentiful moisture, mine bolted when we got into the 80s everyday. According to Dr. Craig R. Andersen of the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, radishes will not grow the root properly when temperatures are above 80.

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Ozark Lady
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I was last in Pine Bluff in 1984. So, sure in 26 years, it probably looks alot different. I remember it as alot of trees, and pretty lawns, that is about all I remember though. My brother was in the hospital there, so we went there. Maybe, it looked pretty because it was the destination after a long drive? tee hee But, I was still glad to get back to my hills.

Even if I can't grow root crops so great, and have lousy soil, at least I have lovely views!
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TWC015
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I love Northern Arkansas and would move there if I could (I'm only 17).

I plan to do some more radishes in the fall, probably in October to see how they do

garden5
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I guess the temps were the culprit, then, because I had temps towards the beginning/middle of may that were in the high 70s and even hit 80 one day.

Although this only lasted for a few days and it then got cold again, this was probably all it took.
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TZ -OH6
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Radishes produce very tasty green seed pods, so bolting is not a total loss. They also attract flea beetles away from other crops and have pretty flowers, so I often leave them in place.

garden5
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TZ -OH6 wrote:Radishes produce very tasty green seed pods, so bolting is not a total loss. They also attract flea beetles away from other crops and have pretty flowers, so I often leave them in place.
OK, now I'm intrigued. How to do you eat the seed pods? When do you harvest them?
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