Japanese Minowase Radish or Daikon is an early pure-white tender roots are 3 in. in diameter and to 1 or 2 ft. long.
Sweet, white crispy flesh with a unique flavor. Fresh favorite in Chinatown markets. Sow in summer or fall.
Did you know Daikon radishes are also known as “tillage radishes” and “forage radishes”?
You should know this under-appreciated but hard-working vegetable better and use it more.
The “tillage” part comes from its traditional use of planting in the late summer to early fall where it is allowed to grow full size, then dies back during the winter frosts and freezes. Its aggressive roots till and open up the soil, then adds lots of organic material as it decomposes.
The “forage” portion is from small scale farmers planting Daikons in a pasture or field, letting them grow and feeding to chickens or turning the pigs out to root them up and forage for themselves – getting a deeper tilling done for little effort.
Here’s a little tip a long time onion grower gave me – plant Daikons in the fall where you want to grow onions next spring. Let them mature, die and decompose just like with using them as tillage radishes.
Next spring, plant an onion seed or slip in each hollow left by the Daikons. The onions won’t spend extra energy in pushing the soil out to grow, and the extra organic matter acts as compost, feeding the onions. He said he will never sell those onions as they are too big and tasty!
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