Phil DudmanReturn of the radish

I remember as a kid growing up in the 70s, radishes where a hugely popular veg to grow and eat. It must have been something to do with their wonderful colour and shape. They seemed to tie in so well with 70s décor and wallpaper, and looked a treat when served at a party alongside devilled eggs and cocktail onions. They were one of the first vegetables I took notice of in peoples backyard patches… such tidy little packages with their short bunching leaves on top of those bright red globes. Every parent encouraged you to pick and eat them… too peppery for my liking at the time I’m afraid, but now I love them and I love to grow them.

Radish are easy to grow

They’re so incredibly easy and quick… I don’t know any veg that gives you such a quick return. I like to plant them lazy style… I just lay some compost on the soil, dribble over some seed, cover with a little more compost and water it all in. The seed germinate in a matter of a few days, and with a weekly feed of liquid fertiliser, they are ready to pick and take up to the kitchen in a matter of 6 weeks… even less if you want to go micro veg. Being so quick, they also bolt early and lose their lovely textural qualities after 9 or 10 weeks, so plant a few seed once a month to keep yourself in a steady supply of radishes at their finest.

Ah yes, the radish has certainly returned… it had lost favour with the foodie inner circle once the 70s had past, now it’s right back on the menu… and it’s not just some kind of foodie retro thing… radishes are being genuinely appreciated for the delightful flavour and crunch they add to all sorts of dishes, especially salads… and they are at their very best when they are picked fresh from the garden… so drag out those funky flares, slip on the afro wig and get swinging down and in the garden with a groovy 70s classic… the raunchy radish.

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