Seed Farm Variety Feature: Watermelon Radish
The 2020 season has brought many unique varieties to our Research & Education Seed Farm. Another variety we are proudly growing this year is watermelon radish (Raphanus sativus acanthiformis). This radish is an heirloom daikon variety originating from China where it is known as “shinrimei” meaning “beauty in the heart,” a reference to the radish’s pink center resembling the heart. As you may have guessed, watermelon radish got its common namesake from its unique colour, a greenish-white skin with a fuchsia pink core resembling watermelon!
This radish is a cool-weather variety making it well-suited to many of our BC climates. The radishes like well-drained, rich, organic soil and can be sown in soil as cold as 4C. Planted from early to late spring, but best planted in late summer for fall and winter harvest, the watermelon radish is a slow maturing variety taking 65 days to reach maturity. The watermelon radish has naturally occurring isothiocyanate, a compound that acts as a natural pest repellent making this variety resilient to pest infestations.
The flavour of watermelon radish is milder, less peppery, and sweeter than other varieties, lending it well to a diversity of culinary uses from sugared radish candy to cultural cuisine. As a large storage radish, they keep well in cold storage over winter and the flavour is said to get better over time. This charming radish is a biennial crop and will produce seed in its second year on the farm.
What to Do With a Watermelon Radish
What is a Watermelon Radish
Tips for Growing Watermelon Radishes
Characteristics and Practical Recommendations for Growing
A Radish Worth the Wait