In the Edible Garden, 16 pink beauty radish (Raphanus sativus) are planted in a one square foot section of a raised garden demonstration bed. The seeds were planted 1/4 inch deep when daytime temperatures were in the 60s and nighttime temperatures were 40 or below. The seeds sprouted in three days and were harvested in 11 days. They were beautiful, round, and solid pink in color.
Since the first crop, another planting under a half-inch layer of expanded coconut coir that had been processed into a 12 x 6 x 3” block. In three days, we already saw sprouts of quarter-inch seed leaves.
The coconut coir block expanded to ten times its original size when watered in a soil buggy. The inch-thick layer of coir is a nutrient-rich environment that is easily invaded by young roots. The ten-pound blocks are naturally free of bacteria, plant diseases, fungal spores, and weed seeds!
Coconut coir is a sustainable alternative to using peat moss. Bernheim’s Horticulture Department chose to make this shift over two years ago and we suggest the same for all who mix soil or grow food. Coconut coir can be purchased locally in Louisville from Fresh Start Growers’ Supply.
Never tasted a radish? Pink beauty radishes are mild, sweet, and tasty. Like other radishes, they may last in refrigerated closed containers for a couple of weeks after harvest. There are many ways to prepare radishes for eating, like these garlic roasted radishes.
-Volunteers, Tony Jevans and Cliff Keller