Radish are possibly the fastest growing vegetable with seedlings appearing within 5 days of planting the seed. It is the ideal starter plant for children or people new to gardening giving a first hand experience of producing plants from seed. As they grow easily, radish can also be used to test out potential growing areas.
Radish are generally golf ball sized or smaller and come in a range of colours between red and white. They are mostly eaten raw as a crunchy salad component but can also be cooked. A good mix of radish grown around a garden provides a steady supply of produce throughout the summer months.
Radish grow easily in containers or in soil and are not usually bothered by garden pests. They can be planted throughout the summer starting as soon as the soil begins to warm up. With some producing in just one month, they are ideal for planting beside main crops (such as tomatoes) in pots or soil.
Beetroot can be grown in just the same way as radish in either soil or containers. They take longer to grow but provide an excellent ingredient in salads or can be cooked or pickled. Their leaves are also edible. Beetroot come in a range of colours and sizes.
As with radish, once established, beetroot require little attention and watering only when particularly dry. Beetroot require slightly more spacing than radish, about 2 inch for beetroot as opposed to 1 inch for radish. To encourage the germination of seed the soil should be kept damp (mist sprayed) for a day or two after planting.
Radish and beetroot work best with succession sowing. As plants start to appear new seed can be planted in spaces on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. By having a couple of containers dedicated to each and by adding a few seed each week, the crops can be continued late into the fall.