When you think about growing root vegetables like carrots and radishes, you probably don’t think about growing them in any type of container. And it’s true, if you plan to grow radish varietals that can grow over 50lbs (see our Radiant Radishes Gardening Guide to find out which ones those are), then maybe a container isn’t right for you. However, if you’re growing small white or red Globe radishes, a container would be perfectly adequate. And in fact, if you’re growing radishes in grow bags, you’ll have additional benefits.
Before we get started, let’s talk about spacing. When growing anything in containers, spacing can be an issue, but most radishes need just an inch between one another and are only planted 1/2″ deep, so you should be able to grow lots of radishes, even in a 7 or 10-gallon grow bag.
Benefits of Grow Bags vs. Containers
In all containers, the benefit of growing radishes is that you can also control your light source, and when the summer becomes extra hot, you can move radishes to a cooler spot where they’ll be happier. When planted directly in the ground, you’ll be stuck with where you planted them. Radishes are cool-weather crops and like full sun in the spring and fall, and partial sun or shade in the heat of the summer. Growing radishes in containers means that you can move them out of the sun when the summer begins to get hot if you need to.
Plastic containers have the benefit of holding moisture in, which can be both a benefit and a curse. Root rot is a problem for root vegetables, just like any vegetable, so an environment that stays wet can be a real hazard. The thing about plastic containers is that sometimes you don’t know how moist your soil may be. When growing radishes in grow bags, you likely won’t have this problem.
That said, drought is not ideal for radishes, either. The stress of drought can cause a tough texture and unsavory flavor. Overwatering is better than underwatering because they need water to develop. So if you are using grow bags for the first time and think you may not be able to keep up with frequent watering, grow bags might not be the right choice for your radishes (or containers in general). Whether plastic or fabric, container gardening is not for the absent-minded!
Depth and Soil for Growing Radishes in Grow Bags
Being able to control your soil is one perk of growing radishes in grow bags. Radishes need to be watered more frequently in sandy ground soil, but you won’t have to worry about that when you create your own potting soil. Ideally, radishes would like well-drained soil with a pH of 6-7, so it’s neutral to slightly acidic. The soil should be loose and not compacted, though Daikon can grow through most dense soils.
Depth is the main concern for growing root vegetables in any type of container, including grow bags. Though if you’re growing small globe radishes, this won’t be an issue. If you want to grow Daikon radishes, your grow bag should be a minimum of 15″ deep.
Watering Radishes in Grow Bags
Ideally, radishes should get a total of an inch of either rainfall or watering every week. Unlike other vegetables that do better with a deep soak once a week, radishes prefer consistent moisture. They’re prone to cracking if the soil rotates between being ultra-dry and then moist again. This doesn’t mean they want to sit in soaking wet, undrained soil, though, which can cause rot. That’s why grow bags are so beneficial when it comes to container growing, as long as you’re willing and able to offer consistent watering. In general, radishes growing in grow bags would be happy with several waterings throughout the week. Mulch, like straw or leaves, on top of your grow bags is a great way to keep moisture in.
That’s just about all there is to know about growing radishes in grow bags. In general, make sure you are planting smaller round spring radishes that sprout in about three weeks. Long or oblong radishes and winter radishes take much longer to grow (closer to five weeks) and containers might be too restricting.
Would you like to start growing your own radishes? Check out our Radiant Radishes Gardening Guide for tips on growing, harvesting, and cooking this delicious crop.
What else would you like to know about growing radishes in grow bags?