The way to Develop Daikon Radish


Time for an advantage installment in our The way to Develop Chinese language Greens Sequence! As of late, we’re speaking about learn how to develop Daikon Radish, a delectable, gentle, and candy wintry weather radish that we use so much in our cooking. 

Should you’re new to this sequence, take a look at our previous posts on learn how to develop bok choy, napa cabbage, Chinese language eggplant, chilies, and Chinese language garlic chives, in addition to our new Lawn/Farm phase of the weblog.

Right through this rising season, we’ve had assist from Christina Chan and Nicole Yeo at Choy Department, a regenerative Asian produce farm in upstate New York. They’ve shared their professional farming insights to assist us duvet a distinct crop every month, from June to October.

Smartly, we’re coming at you with yet another bonus put up in November to hide this cool climate crop, which we’re nonetheless harvesting out of our lawn! 

Sarah harvesting daikon radishes

What Is Daikon Radish?

Daikon radish is a big, elongated white radish with a gentle, candy taste and crisp texture. Daikon is the commonest title in English for this root vegetable. It’s Eastern for “large root.” In Chinese language, this vegetable is referred to as luóbo in Mandarin, or lo bak in Cantonese. It’s additionally also known as a “Chinese language turnip” in English.

daikon cut into chunks on cutting board

When purchasing daikon radish, search for glossy, easy white pores and skin (with none black spots or bruises), and heavier roots (indicating that they’re nonetheless wet and recent).

Should you develop them on your lawn, you’ll know you’re getting the most up to date produce imaginable!

Some imagine long-rooted radishes originated within the Mediterranean, whilst others suppose they originated in China. The phrase luóbo may also be discovered within the Erya (尔雅), the earliest Chinese language dictionary or encylopedia of cultural and herbal phrases, written a while within the third century BC.

Chinese language farmers have bred a lot of cultivars, decided on for length, style, and flexibility to quite a lot of climates. As an example, summer-autumn types are grown in temperate areas of northern China, whilst in southern China, radishes are grown as wintry weather plants. Some types have additionally been bred particularly for pickling, with purple skins, less assailable flesh, and a extra stinky taste.

Cooking Daikon Radish

Daikon could be very flexible, and may also be eaten uncooked, pickled, boiled, stir-fried, steamed, or braised. 

In lots of Chinese language families, radishes are pickled and preserved in order that they are able to be loved all the way through the 12 months. The basis may also be salted to take away extra moisture, sun-dried, after which seasoned, as in our Preserved Daikon Radish recipe

Some recipes name for the daikon to be pickled in a liquid brine, saved in urns or water-sealed jars. Flavors range in line with the area, with some recipes sizzling and highly spiced, and others gentle. 

My mother additionally likes to make it merely boiled or stir-fried, as in our Boiled Daikon Radish, or our Stir-fried Daikon and Carrot recipe. 

Possibly our hottest recipe that it stars in is our Chinese language Turnip Cake (AKA radish cake), or lo bak pass in Cantonese. It’s possible you’ll acknowledge this merchandise out of your favourite dim sum eating place! 

Daikon additionally performs a supporting function in such vintage dishes as Cantonese-style Braised Pork with Radish, my mother’s Salted Red meat with Daikon & Glass Noodles, Highly spiced Meatball Banh Mi, our Simple Braised Turnip Rice Bowls, and our Asian Vegetable Inventory

As you’ll see from some of these recipes, we use daikon so much in our cooking, so we have been excited to take a look at rising it ourselves for the primary time this 12 months! 

Sorts You Can Develop

There are lots of varieties of radish which might be very similar to daikon, they usually all typically fall beneath the similar umbrella. Listed below are a few of Christina’s favorites, in conjunction with hyperlinks to seed assets: 

  • Eastern complete length daikon
  • Korean mu
  • Chinese language luobo
  • Chinese language radish (now not luobo)
Several varieties of daikon radishes
A number of types of radish grown at Choy Department’s farm. From left to proper: Mini Mak, Inexperienced Luobo, then Daikon, Tokinashi selection. Photograph credit score: Choy Department

The way to Develop Daikon Radish from Seed 

Daikon radishes are a fab climate crop, so they are able to be planted in spring for an early summer season harvest, or in overdue summer season for a fall harvest. In line with Christina, fall is a lot more preferable than spring for many daikon sorts.

We didn’t plant any daikons within the spring, and simplest went for a fall crop, which we are actually harvesting a couple of at a time to experience in our foods. Whilst the remainder of the lawn has more or less long gone to mattress for the season, the daikon radish is a flush of vibrant expansion!

daikon radish bed in fall

Christina suggests direct seeding daikon radish simplest, reasonably than beginning them in plugs or seed trays and transplanting. This may be what we did! 

Whilst you are going to harvest them in fall, plant them nicely prior to fall starts. Complete-size daikon desire a longer time within the flooring, and do perfect with a mid-July to early August planting right here within the Northeast. You could have extra flexibility with smaller types, as they want much less time to achieve adulthood, however early August is typically when Choy Department seeks to get all their radishes sown. 

Daikon radishes are frost-tolerant, with some types in a position to tolerate temperatures right down to the mid 20s (Fahrenheit)—round -3°C. In such temperatures, the outer leaves might die again, however so long as there are nonetheless inexperienced leaves, the plant continues to be alive.

If any of the radish is uncovered above flooring, take a look at to verify it isn’t broken (i.e. comfortable or brown, which might point out freezing and defrosting of that space). 


To plant daikon radish seeds, sow them ¼-½ inch (1cm) deep about 1 inch (2.5 cm) aside in a instantly line, with rows spaced 12-18 inches (30-45cm) aside—farther aside for greater types. After germination, you’ll skinny them to their ultimate spacing. 

Daikon radish seedlings in garden bed
Listed below are our daikon radish seedlings in our lawn mattress simply after germinating.
daikon radishes growing
And right here’s what they seemed like a number of weeks later, with great, wholesome foliage!

Relying at the sort, you’ll skinny the radishes to 3-6 inches (8-15 cm) aside.

Christina’s rule of thumb? The bigger the radish at adulthood, the more room you’ll want between every one. Complete-size daikons will want no less than 6 inches (15 cm) of spacing, whilst 3-4 inches (8-10 cm) will suffice for mini types. 

difference in size between radish that hasn't been thinned vs radish given more room
This picture displays the variation in length between a radish that grew too with reference to its neighbors, leading to a smaller length, vs. a radish grown after right kind thinning. Photograph credit score: Choy Department



Those radishes are frost tolerant vegetation, and can carry out perfect when planted in overdue summer season, when the soil is heat for germination and the temperatures cool because the plant matures. Keep away from planting on the freshest days of summer season—stay up for the elements to chill down a bit of. Most often, they develop perfect with the perfect taste when air temperatures are round 50-65°F (10-18°C). 


Plant radishes in complete solar to phase coloration. Most often, sunny but cool prerequisites are perfect. 


Radishes like fertile, well-drained soils which might be rather friable (now not compacted) in order that the roots can develop deep down into the bottom, great and instantly! 


In line with Christina, they’re going to want water to germinate, however don’t require a ton of irrigation after that, if any. They’re excellent at discovering the moisture within the soil to develop. Heavy rains may cause some varieties of radishes to separate, which doesn’t have an effect on taste however does have an effect on storability. One more reason why radishes are perfect grown in fall reasonably than spring, when prerequisites are much less rainy. 


4-6 inches is perfect, with much less spacing important for smaller types, and a complete 6 inches higher for enormous types.


About 50-60 days, despite the fact that some smaller types can mature in 30-40 days and a few greater types want 90 days or extra to mature. 

Our Enjoy rising daikon radishes

We typically discovered those daikon radishes to be a no-fuss crop! We planted our radishes a bit of overdue, across the third week of August, they usually germinated briefly.

By means of then, the drought prerequisites we’d skilled for lots of the summer season had eased, and we have been getting some rain each and every week, so that they didn’t require any supplemental watering. 

They briefly grew sturdy, wholesome foliage, and we didn’t enjoy any pest issues (we handled many extra pests in spring!). By means of overdue October, we harvested our first small radishes, and we’ve been harvesting them a couple of at a time ever since, simply leaving them within the flooring to develop till our subsequent daikon meal. 

three small freshly harvested daikon radishes

We had a rather cool fall, with temperatures briefly turning into milder in the second one part of September into October. The radishes liked this climate, and have been company and candy. We’ve been cutting up the radish vegetables to feed to the chickens and geese, despite the fact that you’ll additionally devour them! (Do this Daikon Leaves Furikake recipe from our pal Nami at Eastern meals weblog Simply One Cookbook—I’ve made it, and it’s scrumptious!) 

Temperatures are beginning to dip down into the mid to low 20s every evening, so we’re going to reap the remainder of them now, however we’ve mainly had a gradual radish harvest for the remaining 4 weeks! 

Harvesting & Garage Guidelines

As we simply discussed within the field above, you’ll get a pleasing, lengthy harvest window for fall-planted daikon radishes. Less warm climate and not more daylight tremendously slows down their expansion, so they are able to simply hand around in the bottom, barring any onerous frosts.

Harvest radishes like every other root vegetable. Search for the roots’ shoulders protruding above the bottom for a sign that they’re able to be picked.

Give it a company pull upwards. Or with an overly huge daikon, give it a steady tug upward, then wiggle it facet to facet to loosen it prior to slowly pulling upwards once more, repeating the facet to facet as important, to forestall breakage in flooring.

Even after its shoulders poke out of the bottom, it is going to keep growing. So even supposing it has emerged, however doesn’t glance fats sufficient but, you’ll go away it within the flooring to continue to grow.

small daikon radish popping out of the ground

Simply make sure you harvest them prior to temperatures drop to the low 20s for a couple of consecutive nights. 

Like many root greens, daikon radishes are nice for long term garage in a fab dry position, comparable to a root cellar. If making plans to retailer long-term, don’t wash them. Simply gently brush aside the filth, and take away the leaves, which can rot a lot quicker than the foundation. 

washing freshly harvested produce
We have now been hosing off our daikons prior to bringing them in, as we typically prepare dinner them in an instant. Right here’s a lovely harvest, in conjunction with carrots and Eastern yams!

Pest Control

Flea beetles

Like bok choy and napa cabbage, daikon radish may also be plagued through Flea Beetles, that are very small, glossy black beetles that soar like fleas and devour tiny holes within the leaves. 

You typically received’t see as lots of them in fall as in spring. We discovered this to be true, as our spring-planted napa cabbage have been attacked through flea beetles, however our daikon radish vegetables have been mainly left untouched. 

Most often, this factor is most commonly beauty, until you’ve a in point of fact dangerous infestation. In the event that they’re stressing the plant, you’ll duvet them with floating row covers to create a bodily barrier across the veg. 

Cabbage root trojan horse

Those are tiny white larvae within the soil that create channels within the outer (and occasionally penetrate via to the interior) surfaces of your brassica root greens. The adults resemble area flies, and lay eggs within the soil. After hatching, they begin munching at the radishes. 

The most efficient prevention right here may be a floating row duvet—position over the rows after planting, in order that the flies don’t have a possibility to put their eggs on your vegetable beds. Take a look at our bok choy and napa cabbage posts for extra on floating row covers.

Should you’ve already noticed injury, it’s typically floor degree and may also be lower away. Now and again, over the top injury may cause rot in spots, however Christina says that it incessantly does heal over and scar. It doesn’t have an effect on taste, and is known as a beauty factor.

We are hoping you’ve loved this put up on learn how to develop daikon radishes, and our sequence on The way to Develop Chinese language Greens normally!

Daikon Radish Bed

We will’t imagine that this rising season is already coming to an in depth, but it surely has been so a laugh documenting our gardening adventures during the last 6 months.

With a bit of luck those posts let you on your personal rising adventure subsequent 12 months. This sequence (with Choy Department once more guiding us!) will again subsequent 12 months, with new plants and rising wisdom. Till then, get started making plans out your veg gardening for subsequent spring!



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