Its time to go back to seed sowing – Winter Radishes
Its time to sow seeds again. I have been lax in sowing seed during the last few months; and surprisingly now I have had a sudden urge to start again. Most classic radish varieties like Scarlet globe, Sparkler or French Breakfast can still be sown at this time of the year, but these small red varieties will have to be picked as soon they mature otherwise they get woody. The seeds I intend to sow are the long mooli radish varieties. These can be left in the ground and they just get longer. They are often seen in Asian shops as the picture shows. If they are left in the ground for too long, instead of being eaten raw they can be used as a cooked vegetable in stir fries or to spice up meat dishes.
I have been successful in the past with 2 white varieties; Mooli April Cross and Mooli Minowase nr 2. I also intend to try a shorter white variety that I picked up in Lidl for a few pence by the name of Eiszapfen, the packet says that it can be sown until the end of September and the roots are 12cm long. There are also some long red radish varieties; D’Avignon is the giant at 30 cm and China Rose at about 15cm.
The other variety that should be sown now is the Real Winter Radish – these are black skinned with white flesh and will stay in the ground all winter, they are usually eaten cooked as they can be very sharp. The most common variety is known as Black Spanish.
The only other vegetable that I will still bother to sow now from seed and still expect a crop during 2016 is the turnip, sown now in good soil it should still yield a reasonable crop. Even if they don’t make it to a good bulb size, they should still overwinter and sprout edible greens next spring when other vegetables are scarce.
Now I must admit – I visited B& Q and I was tempted to cheat. They have acquired a new stock of vegetable strips specifically suited for August- September sowing. At 3 strips for a fiver I chose Cabbage (Durham Early), Cauliflower (Maystar), and Beetroot (Pablo .R.H.S. merit) .
There was also kale and broccoli to choose from but they are not my family favourites.
The plants were planted in the place where I have recently removed the new potatoes. It is a pity to leave fallow a good piece of land, only for the weeds to take possession. At least if I know something is planted on it I will keep the hoe active on the weed population.
The label says that the cauliflower will be ready in spring next year but the cabbage and beetroot labels convince me that they will be ready in a few weeks!
At this time of the year planting and sowing veg is definitely a gamble , who knows if the Indian summer will arrive? But isn’t all gardening in our variable English climate a gamble?!?
Have an enjoyable gardening week!
Next week: Seed sowing now, for 2017.