Known for their ability to protect our red blood cells and their high vitamin C content, radishes are widely eaten all over the world. With their reputation in helping to safeguard against the common cold and cough, and also strengthen our immunity systems, many farmers look to planting radishes because of their high demand. They are known to rapidly mature during the cool seasons and are also extremely easy to grow hydroponically. If you are a farmer who is looking to switch to radishes or is merely someone who loves farming crops in their free time, this article provides all the necessary information for you to grow your very own radish in your backyard!
Growing hydroponic radish
Radishes typically need very low amounts of fertilizer to thrive, but on the other hand, requires a lot of nitrogen. One of the common problems that growing radishes bring about is the lack of certain elements like nitrogen in the soil, resulting in spindly radish roots, overly thick greens, low-quality flavors as well as the low antioxidant content. Hydroponic radishes are cultivated using a variety of nutrient solutions mixed in water. You can also use either soil or other lightweight growing mediums to grow your crops, and they are extremely easy to farm.
Maintenance of hydroponic radishes
Basic growth nutrients have to be added to the growth medium as they are crucial in promoting the growth of their green tops. After they are developed, which will take about two weeks, you should switch to a root nutrient instead of sticking with the growth nutrients. This is to avoid having overly thick green tops with underdeveloped roots.
When it comes to the growth medium, you can consider sand or sphagnum moss that will be able to support and stabilize the seedlings. If you want to achieve optimal growth, you can create your own mixture of perlite and vermiculite to obtain better results. Though it is possible to add peat to the blend, they will not affect the results much. If you are using net pots to grow your radishes, it is important to seat them with a coffee filter or tissue paper beforehand. Ensure that your crops have ample headspace of about an inch or more between the filler from the reservoir and the top of the container.
Radishes are crops that require a lot of direct sunlight and be sure to give it about twelve hours of interrupted sunlight every day. If you are planning to grow your plant indoors or if your area constantly experiences dark and gloomy days, it is best to have a light installation to ensure that your radish still gets sufficient light energy. Getting a fluorescent or LED light will be good enough. However, it is also important to make sure that your plants do not get too much heat from the light source, as they will not grow well in high temperatures.
Ideally, your plants should be kept in an area with a temperature range between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use heaters in your homes or place ice cubes in the nutrient solution to adjust the temperature accordingly, to ensure that they do not either wither from the heat or cold.
Hydroponic system set-up
When you set the seeds in the hydroponic set-up, be sure to have the seeds spaced out so that the seedlings have sufficient growing space. This speeds up the growth rate and increases the final mature size of the radish root. As such, the seeds should be about ¾ inches apart.
Apart from the aforementioned growth mediums that you can use, other types include growing stones, clay pallets, sheep wool, wood fiber, and a mixture of perlite and pumice. You should opt for those that are porous and lightweight to achieve maximum results.
Though there are a variety of radishes available, it does not matter which you choose as the hydroponic system is effective for all kinds.
Procedure for hydroponic growing
First and foremost, fill a plant tray with the growing medium of your choice and place it near a window where it can receive direct sunlight for up to 6 to 8 hours a day. Place a plastic bin of above 10 gallons in volume on the ground or a lower shelf directly under the plant tray.
After this, attach one end of the tubing to the tray’s drain, while you drop the other end into a plastic bin. Connect one end of the second section of tubing to the output of the submersible pump, and place the pump in the plastic bin, allowing the tubing to run from the pump to the tray. Next, attach the tubing over the edge using a hose clip, so that the water and nutrients will be able to enter the tray once the pump is switched on.
After that is done, place the seeds on top of the growing medium, making sure that they are ¾ inches apart from one another. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of growing medium, and make sure that you water the seeds daily. After about two weeks, the seeds will germinate and make sure they become established enough such that the water reservoir will not wash them away. Next, you can stop watering them and switch to the pump.
Pour a sufficient amount of nutrient solution in the plastic bin to fill the tray, making sure that there is only about an inch of space between the water level and the brim of the tray. Switch on the pump and roughly measure the amount of time taken to fil the entire tray. Once you are done, set a timer to run that duration about three times a day, or about four times a day if you are residing in a hot and dry area. Be sure to constantly check that your timer and pump are working, so that your plants get enough nutrient solution. Once they are matured, they are ready to be harvested!
As simple as it sounds, growing radishes hydroponically is an extremely easy and no-brainer process, as it does not require any prior skills or experience in order to grow them successfully. If you have been giving this some thought, now is the time to start! With a good amount of research done prior to ensure that you purchase the right materials of the right sizes and functions, you will be able to harvest your prized radishes in no time!