How to grow radishes | Alys Fowler

Our gardening expert on the trick to a good radish

The first pulling of crisp, spicy, sweet roots, slathered in cold unsalted butter, then dipped in flaky sea salt and accompanied by a glass of something white and very dry: I feel I have been dreaming about my first spring crop all winter.

Radishes are keen on life, which is why they get to go first. They take roughly 30 to 40 days to mature outside (fewer in a polytunnel with plenty of watering). Perhaps more importantly, they favour cool, moist conditions. The seeds germinate at between 14C and 30C and are quick about it, so they are one of the best indicators of whether your soil is warming up. Another way of knowing if your soil is nearing 14C is to wiggle your fingers in it. If you can linger there, your soil is warm; if after a minute you wish to hug a cup of tea, it is not.

Related: How to grow parsley | Alys Fowler

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