Organic farming is a strategy of farming that utilizes natural resources to produce better yield from the crops. The main intention of this technique is to stay in harmony with the nature, without affecting the micro-organisms, insects and other living organisms. It is a kind of give and take policy. We give organic manures, fertilizers and pesticides to the crops and we get back good quality organic yields.
Here we are going to look into the farming techniques of radish.
Radish comes under the category of rooted vegetables. The major characteristics of radish which makes it different from other vegetables are its skin colour, crunch-flesh and spicy-peppery taste. Radishes are available in short, long, round and narrow shapes.
The scientific name of radish is Raphanus Sativa. Radish originated in Southeast Asia and Central Asia. Apart from using them as vegetables, they have high medicinal value. They contain compounds like glucosinolate and isothiocyanate which helps to optimize the sugar level in our blood.
Radish belongs to the family ‘Crucifearea’ and is usually grown in tropical and temperate regions. Radish is a major part of salad in different countries. The leaves of radish are also edible and are a rich source of vitamin A.
The preferred type of soil for radish cultivation is sandy loam soil rich with organic matter. The standard pH range for the cultivation of radish is 5.5-6.8. Optimum temperature to have a good yield is 15 degree Celsius.
Before planting the land is ploughed thoroughly and the weeds are removed completely. Next, farmyard manure is applied to the soil. Usually decomposed or dry cow dung is not applied for radish crops. During the soil preparation, undecomposed matter are sorted and removed because it may often lead to forking of roots or misshaped roots.
Radish crops are best suited in spring and autumn climates. They are also capable to tolerate mild winter frosts. For the efficient growth of the crops conditions like light sunlight, ample rain and soil with good drainage system is required. Radishes are crops which consumes a lot of phosphorus. So before planting, the soil is applied with a good quantity of bone meal. Nitrogen is good for the growth of root bulbs but too much of them could deteriorate their growth. Provide Nitrogen in required quantities.
For effective growth of bulbs, the soil needs to be kept moist.
For the germination of radish seeds, they are kept on cold conditions. Seeds can also germinate under the temperature range of 4-32 degree Celsius. When the seeds are sown, after 5-10 days, the seedlings start to pop-up. Seeds are planted and germinated during season of spring or fall.
Some farmers practice the method of applying dirt on top of the seeds and germinating them instead of planting them.
Radish does not take much time to grow. They grow fast. So, the soil needs to be provided with rich nutrients.
Major organic compounds applied to radish crops are:
- Farmyard manure – 25-40 tonnes
- Nitrogen – 18-50 Kg
- Phosphorus – 50 Kg
- Potassium – 50 Kg
Moisture content in the soil is an important factor for the growth of radish. The first irrigation is planned after the sowing process. Based on the climatic conditions and type of soil, the crops are irrigated once in two weeks. Over irrigation may damage the crop.
Radish crops shares a bond with cabbage. So they are affected by the same pests and diseases as that of cabbage. Since the radish bulbs are below the soil, pests do not affect them. But they vigorously affect the leaves and destroy them. The bulbs inside the soil should be protected from root maggots. Root maggots are similar to houseflies but have the capability to make burrows and reach out for the bulbs. The only way to prevent them is to use row covers before the plant comes up.
Flea beetles are another kind of pest that infects the radish crops. They usually feed upon the leaves and stems of the plant which leads to the weakening of the plant and gradually death. One way to kill these insects is by attracting necessary insects that eats these harmful insects and pests.
Radishes are readily harvested after 20-30 days. Once the root has turned plump, they are ready to harvest.