Tuesday, June 19, 2007

W is NOT for Watermelon Radish

The other day as we were looking at the garden, Andy pointed to a flowering stalk and asked what it was. Hmm. That looks like one of my watermelon radishes underneath, but at last check, they weren't radishes yet. So we pulled the flowering one up, and sure enough, no radish yet. Frustrated with the garden space devoted to the radish that wasn't, I pulled them all up, and out of about 20 plants, I had 3 radishes. I learned a thing or two, I think. First up, here is a picture of the Watermelon Radish from the outside.It looks like a smallish turnip- unassuming really. For taking twice as long as the French Breakfast radishes, I really expected something grand and glorious. Not so much, apparently. I suspect that I actually planted them too late, that they need the cool weather to germinate and grow, and should probably be sown just past the frost danger. I'm going to save my seeds and try again this late September/October, and see if they fare better in cooler weather. But this next picture, this is where the watermelon radish gets their name.Sliced open, they are impressive. The have a stunning rosy color on the interior that contrasts beautifully with the creamy white shell. One taste though told me that we were not going to be exploring the virtues of the watermelon radish. Wow- these guys pack some heat! These are a very spicy radish, with quite the cumulative effect as well. Andy couldn't even eat a whole radish-and that says a lot. Again though, I wonder about the timing. Regular radishes are sweeter when grown in the cooler weather- they get that heat from hot weather, and it has been a bit warm the last few weeks, so that may have something to do with the heat.

So Sadly, the watermelon radish is a bit of a dud, but up next on the horizon, my zucchini plants have babies and blossoms. In fact, after all the rain last night, I could pluck two zucchini today, but I think I'm going to let them go a little longer. I'm hoping to have them for veggie kebabs this coming weekend. My tomato plants are also all loaded with little green tomatoes, I have a jalapeno on my pepper plant, and both the cucumbers and the melons are in full blossom. I'm a little concerned about leaving my garden in two weeks when we go camping... the veggies may just take over then.

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