Aside from being a tasty treat, radishes are a fast-maturing crop that’s ideal for beginners. Radishes don’t need much care or fertilizing, they grow in any type of soil and you can harvest them in as little as 4 weeks.

Radishes are a cool-season crop, which means they thrive in spring and autumn. They’re great to sow as soon as the soil is workable, but when temperatures rise above 70°F (21°C), radishes will go to seed and their bulbs will no longer be edible.

While radishes don’t do well in summer, there are ways to enjoy them in hot weather. And if we can get finicky carrots to germinate in scorching summer months, we can definitely give it a try with radishes. In the end, if they do bolt, all is not lost – you can still eat their greens, and even their pods for a special treat!

Here are 7 tips for extending the radish season and turning this favorite vegetable into a year-round crop:

1. Succession sow radishes

I used to sow my radishes all in one go in spring. Needless to say, by the end of the month, I had more radishes than I could eat, and I’d leave them for too long in the ground. Radishes don’t keep well in the ground (like beets for example), and you need to harvest them as soon as they reach a good size, or else they get old and woody.

Succession sow your radishes every couple of weeks to get just the right amount of fresh radishes. It’s easy to make room for small radish drills anywhere in the garden, instead of dedicating an entire bed to a huge radish crop.

This will help you extend the season well into late spring, early summer, and all autumn – a little seed goes a long way!

2. Choose heat-tolerant radish varieties

Not all radishes are created equal – some are bred specifically for the summer months. The most popular radish in this category is the Sora radish.

Sora is a reliable radish that’s designed to grow outdoors from spring to autumn – it’s loved by both hobby gardeners and commercial growers. This attractive radish forms massive globes and rarely gets pithy or spongy like radishes often do (read more about radish growing problems here).

Cherry Belle is a classic radish variety that’s somewhat heat tolerant. Don’t test in the hottest summer months, though, it might not grow anything but leaves.

3. Create shade and moisture for your summer radishes

There are several ways you can extend the season on radishes, just like with many other cool-season vegetables. To help them “cool off”, you need to provide the perfect ingredients for a healthy crop: protection from the strong midday sun and plenty of water.

Radishes do very well in shade, and you can intentionally plant them in between taller crops, under a tree, or against a structure that casts shade most of the day. Partial shade is key here because if they don’t get at least a couple of hours of direct sunlight, your radishes won’t grow bulbs.

Other tricks for season extension include shade cloth, mulching, and drip irrigation.

4. Harvest your radishes early and keep them in the fridge

Radishes don’t last too long in the ground, especially during the summer months – but they do last for 2-3 weeks in the fridge when stored in a ziplock bag with a moist paper towel inside.

Harvest them as soon as they’re slightly bigger than a marble to enjoy their juicy flesh. Sora radish is an exception, as you can leave it mature to a bigger size even when the weather gets hot.

You also don’t want to leave radishes in the ground for too long because they’re an easy target for slugs, flea beetles, and root maggots. Water variations can make them pithy and leaving them for too long will cause them to turn woody and inedible.

5. Explore Chinese radish varieties

Round small radish types are most popular, and many gardeners rarely grow anything else. However, if you’re more adventurous, you can give Daikon radish and Watermelon radish a try. Both are heat tolerant and you can get several crops out of them in one year if you’re intentional with sowing times.

Daikon and Watermelon radishes take longer to reach maturity, but you’ll be rewarded with the sheer size of your crop, and pleasantly surprised by their spicy taste and juicy texture.

6. Grow radishes for pods

Bolting doesn’t have to be the end of radishes. For some regions, like India, it’s just the beginning. That’s right, in India radishes are grown for pods, known as moongra, rather than for bulbs, and added to stir-fries and traditional foods.

When radishes bolt, they flower and then go to seed – the seed pod is a whole new life cycle for the plant. Radish pods taste very much like radish, although they don’t look like it, and the more you pick them, the more pods a plant will produce.

Use radish pods in salads to give them a spicy kick or pickle them for a delicious treat.

7. Eat radish greens

If all else fails and you didn’t manage to get your radishes to grow bulbs, you’ll still have plenty of radish greens to eat. Some varieties do have a fuzzy texture and it can be unpleasant, but cooking them will easily fix this.

Radish greens are rich in vitamin C and A, minerals, and antioxidants, not to mention you’ll be getting plenty of fiber. If your lettuce crop is struggling in the summer heat, try growing radishes for the greens alone – they’re a fast crop and you have nothing to lose!


Hopefully, we’ve convinced you to give summer radishes a try! Yes, they need more care, but so does everything else in the garden when the weather gets too hot and dry. I’ll be growing the Sora variety for the first time this year, and I’m excited to taste juicy fresh radishes in the middle of July!

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