How To Store Radishes: The Most Effective Ways You Can Try
Among all garden crops, radishes rank high in terms of maturing quickly. This means that anyone can grow their own radishes - even you! Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to adorn your salad bowls with crispy, crunchy, fresh radish roots anytime you want?
Of course, it is! Now, the only thing to do is to find ways on how to store radishes safely and effectively to extend their life even post-planting season. Sound good? Read on to learn more.
Tips on How to Store Radishes: What Every Backyard Gardener Must Know
1. When pulling out radishes, always harvest from dry soil
Don’t harvest when it’s been raining or if the soil is moist. Instead, wait for a couple of days that had dry and humid weather. This is because moisture causes rotting of radish roots. In addition, if you harvest once the hairs of the roots have already dried out, you’ll help the radish enter a phase of “dormancy”, so to speak. This increases its shelf life by a few more days.
2. A little water goes a long way
Hydro-cooling is very effective if you need to store some crops for a short period of time. Just fill a jar, pan, or bowl with about two inches of water and place your radishes in. You should get the appearance of having them grow out of the water. Keep this setup at room temperature - you should be able to enjoy several days of fresh and green roots. To extend their life even longer, place the bowl of water inside the fridge.
3. Even more, water goes an even longer way!
If you don’t want to hydro-cool, you can go ahead and wash the roots, then trim them. Take out the greens and the tap root that extends out the bottom part of the radish. Remove any excess water after washing. Place the radishes inside a canning jar along with the trimmed out parts. Fill the jar with water all the way through. Cover it with the lid, and store in the fridge. This will allow you up to eight extra days of storage.
4. Remove the leafy tops
Chopping off the greens (right where the roots meet the stems) after harvesting can extend the radishes’ life. Don’t wash the roots. Store them in the fridge until you need them. If you place them in sealed plastic container or bag, you can enjoy them for another two weeks. There isn’t waste, too, because you can use your chopped greens for braising or sauteing - they taste great on their own! Simply season with salt, pepper, olive oil, and roasted garlic.
5. Seal properly
If you need a longer time before using them, place unwashed radishes in a zip-top plastic bag. Place a damp paper towel inside, at the bottom part. Keep the bag in a dark and cool part of the fridge - the crisper area works great. If kept properly, this can give you many, many weeks of storage life.
6. Use your cellar
If you are a farmer, and your fridge space is minimal, then you can go ahead and take the cellar route. Store your radishes in the root cellar or basement. Keep the temperature between 34-42 degrees and the humidity at 90-95%. Take wooden crates or boxes and fill them with slightly damp sand. Place the unwashed roots in between sand layers. Keep in mind not to let the roots touch - because this can facilitate and spread rotting.
Check the stored crops every week or so to assess for mold or rot. As soon as you see signs of rotting, throw the affected crops out. This method should afford you as long as 3 months. Daikon radishes, as well as fall and winter radishes, can benefit from this storage technique because they don’t desiccate easily since they have thick skin.
7. Keep them in the dirt
Fall radishes can be stored in the ground. Plant salad radishes in a late-season sowing, one month before the first expected frost. If it gets cooler, the roots cease growing. You will also have to keep them safe with about 5 inches of hay or straw. As long as there is no frost on the ground, you can harvest your radishes one at a time if you need to. Alternatively, you can place a small greenhouse over them or simply cover them with a two-layer floating row cover.
8. Keep them in a cold frame
This is a good solution for fall radishes. Gardeners all over the nation use this storage option, letting them enjoy fresh radish through fall, winter, and spring. Sow a few fresh seeds every couple of weeks.
Replenish the soil of the cold frame with some manure or compost two times during the season. Place your frames properly to maximize the elusive sunlight during winter. To get more light and heat, use a more sloped frame. 45 degrees and facing the south would be best.