Are you considering alternatives to conventional growing techniques? Hydroponics offers a real alternative, and is rapidly growing in popularity. Here we take a look at what’s required, and some tips, to successfully grow radishes hydroponically.

The main advantage offered by hydroponic growing systems is the fact that growers can cultivate and harvest crops year round in spite of any inclement weather or indeed the need for agricultural land. HYDROPONICS even works in extremely cold climates where conventional growing techniques would not be possible. Hydroponic growing also eliminates many of the common bug and pest problems associated with growing crops conventionally.

Many growers have reported excellent results when growing radishes hydroponically.

Balanced nutrients

One thing to focus on is maintaining the correct balance of chemicals in the nutrient solution which is used. In particular, higher nitrogen levels may lead to excessive top growth in place of a well formed radish root bulb.

Excellent results have also been achieved by adopting a two-stage approach to feeding; focusing on growth-rich solution in the early phase, while top leaves grow, and then later switching to a root-targeting solution to optimise the development of the edible root part of the plant.

Hydroponic systems for growing radishes

There are various hydroponic systems available and often choosing the best one comes down to matching a system with the space available and budget, among other factors. However, most systems work on similar principles. The nutrient solution needs to be delivered to the roots of the plants and this is normally done either through a reservoir and pump system, with plants supported in grow tubes, which continuously streams the solution across the roots (continuous-flow) or a system where the plants are supported in individual holders and the roots are simply suspended in non-flowing solution (static-solution).

Lighting and temperature

Regardless of the type of hydroponic system used, the plants need plenty of light in order to grow – either natural or artificial. And, depending on the climate, an ideal temperature should also be maintained to achieve optimal results.

Varieties of radish

Interestingly, good results have been experienced with all types of radishes, although quick-growing spring radishes seem to do particularly well when hydroponically grown. Asian and long-season radishes have also produced excellent harvests when grown in hydroponic systems. Generally speaking, harvesting is best done when the root systems are still tender.

Storing radishes

Following harvesting, care should be taken to avoid splitting, which can be caused due to the change in water pressure. This can be avoided by transferring mature radishes to the refrigerator, packaged in damp paper towels, and storing in plastic bags to maintain moisture levels.

Hydroponic growing of radishes is incredibly efficient, inexpensive and eco-friendly, and with germination rates for radish seeds around 80%, you can look forward to a bumper crop of beautiful and tasty radishes.