Friday, July 27, 2012

Watermelon Radish Life-Cycle

 Watermelon Radish looks like a fruit when you cut it into half as the bright reddish colour under the skin show itself. I would like to express my gratitude to Mr. H at Subsistence Pattern for introducing us to this gorgeous radish and the precious seeds we received. I miss Subsistence Pattern posting as their passion of growing their own food and saving seeds is always so inspiring. Surprisingly, this radish variety does not have the pungent radish smell like the other varieties in the radish group. Watermelon radish resemble turnip at a glance. But it can grow much bigger at the size of  my palm remaining juicy without becoming woody. Compared with other radish variety that we have grown in our garden, watermelon radish root growth is rather slow. However, we are very fond of this radish flavour compare with other radish. This is one of our favourite radish to grow in the garden list after the heat waves has gone and the weather turns milder.

 But in our climate, sowing watermelon radish in spring just make the plants bolt early without producing much root. This is similar case with daikon (Japanese radish) and some other varieties as well. I am not sure the reason why but I was thinking that some radish varieties might be sensitive to the longer-daylight hours.  The best season in our garden for sowing watermelon radish or daikon will be end of summer or early fall for producing nice size of roots. We also extend the sowing season up till June/July (early~mid winter) for succession sowing just to replace other veggies that have been harvested.
 Watermelon radish can be grown well in container. Just make sure the soil does not dry out, keep moist. If the part top of the root or shoulder is well-exposed to the sunlight, this part will turn green but still edible. I frequently make mistake with the watermelon radish spacing and sowed to closely with each other. I forgot that watermelon radish does seems to have larger size of leaves compared with the other radish that we grow. So more space in between is required to harvest bigger roots. 
Unintentionally, some watermelon radish starts to flower and it was nice timing at that time since no other brassica veggies were producing flower so it was a chance to collect seeds. I never can catch up in each spring with harvesting before the plants starts to flower. Letting one plant flower for collecting seeds is more than enough supply for a few years. The watermelon radish flower resembles daikon and kailan (chinese broccoli) closely. The watermelon radish seed pod is roundish at the bottom and with a long pointy end. Last end summer, we sowed some of this fresh seeds just to confirm whether the seeds is pure or not. We were happy that no cross-pollination occurred and we managed to harvest pure seeds.

Sorry, I have not been a good blogger friend this few months.
Since last Sunday Rayyan has not feeling well maybe caught some bug.
He transferred it to me, so I started not feeling well today.
Getting rounder and 37 weeks pregnant already, waiting for baby to decide her date of birth.
Its getting harder to fall asleep, feel like a zombie.
Hope to catch up.

Sesiapa yang berminat untuk cuba tanam watermelon radish lawatilah laman ini (klik ayat ini).


Daphne Gould said...

I've never grown it but I've always loved the look of the watermelon radish. It is so pretty.

rainfield61 said...

Yo are waiting eagerly for another "harvest".

Mr. H. said...

So glad to hear that the watermelon radish is growing well for you...much better than it does for me I see.:) Hope you are feeling better soon.

PJ said...

The watermelon radish looks great - and now my similar problems with small daikon make sense. I'll try planting them at a different time of year and see if it makes a difference.

Lrong Lim said...

What an interesting name for a veggie...

Mama Pongkey said...

I sowed the watermelon radish about 2 months ago I think? They are still small, and they have spindly stems, which I try to cover with soil. They receive morning sun until noon. I wonder if there is anything I can do to make them grow faster? Do they like being moved?
Hope you'll feel better soon.. sending positive vibes your way :-)

Unknown said...

my watermelon radish never grow. maybe soil preparation error.

Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

What an interesting radish. Never came across it before.
Take care. Hope everyone gets to feeling well and you get some rest.

Unknown said...

I hope u and your son feel better. good luck for your delivery date and your baby daughter.

on the other hand the watermelon radish looks great. I had never heard of it.

Unknown said...

I hope u and your son feel better. good luck for your delivery date and your baby daughter.

on the other hand the watermelon radish looks great. I had never heard of it.

Mark Willis said...

I tried growing that type of radish once, but it turned out to be very woody - not at all like a watermelon! :(
Hope all goes well with your new baby. Take it easy, eh? Not too much gardening for a few weeks!

Liz said...

My watermelon radishes are much smaller than yours and the ones I've harvested to date haven't had as much pink inside - I love eating them though, really enjoyable. I am still harvesting my Autumn sown crop. Look after yourself! And I hope you are feeling better.

Sue Garrett said...

I've not come across watermelon radish. Not long to wait for number 3 now.

kitsapFG said...

I see Mr. H posted a comment in reply. I hope he knows how much we all are missing his blog posts this season.

That is a gorgeous radish. I have a terrible time with them bolting. I think I will follow your lead and see if a fall planting works better for me.

Kelli said...

The watermelon radish looks very impressive. I thought the first photos was a fruit melon. Hope you are feeling better.

africanaussie said...

gosh that even looks delicious! I have so mcuh trouble growing radishes - I wonder if they don't like the heat and humidity of our summer - maybe I should grow them in the cooler weather....
I also didn't know that you have another radish swelling :) - do take care, and you have a very good excuse to take a few blogging breaks.

kitchen flavours said...

Hi Diana, I have not seen nor heard of watermelon radish before, it is wonderful, learning and seeing something new! It looks really nice! I hope Rayyan is Ok by now, and you take care of yourself too!

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Daphne~The inner flesh does make it look very interesting for a radish.

Rainfield61~Eagerly waiting for another harvest so I can finally move easier...hehehe...

Mr. H~We finally managed to grow some decent one this year. Thank to you we had fun.

Prue~That a good idea, trying different sowing time. We experiment lots like that to get the most reliable sowing time.

Lrong~ It has other different name as well but can't recall it at the moment.

Mama Pongkey~If you mean being moved by transplanting, I probably won't recommend it. The watermelon radish is very slow to grow for a 'Radish'. Took me at least 3 months to have a decent size to harvest. Hopefully the cooler monsoon weather will help speed up its growth. But you can try giving them some fertiliser to boost the growth. Hmmm...from the comments received all over the world with different climates not all seems to have an easy time growing this particular radish. Possibly a good way is to try different location and sowing time and see whether there are any changes.

Hernyhafiz~Try a new location. Perhaps cooler weather on the way might help somewhat.

Gardener on Sherlock Street~The radish has just make a comeback. Its one of those forgotten heirloom radish. If I am not mistaken this variety originate from China.

Sri Ranjani~I only known this radish for 2 years. You take care too and have a good rest from your busy schedule.

Mark~Not enough water? The garden has to fend by itself this month. Hopefully we have some occasional rain.

Liz~Some of ours don't even have pink inside only white. I am not sure why either. Is it because I harvest too early or too small. Not sure mysterious.

Sue~Yeah not too long. If the baby comes out on 25th will be the same as her brother.

KitsapFG~Yeah, all of us are missing his blog posts. Probably he is busy with harvesting. Our radish tend to bolt quickly in spring and get woody quicker too.

Kelli~It does look like a fruit yah.

Africanaussie~Probably grow them in cooler weather since root vegetables seems to need more moisture than other veggies during their young stage.I wonder how much weight our big 'radish' going to be. Been carrying for 9 months now. Hopefully not that big or underweight for smooth delivery.

Joyce~This season we are growing several different variety of radish. Because it is quick to grow and I don't need to take care of them much. Both of us feeling much better now, thanks.