When to harvest radishes – how to pick this hardy, easy-to-grow root vegetable

A delicious and nutritious addition to the salad bowl – here’s when to harvest radishes

When to harvest radishes
(Image credit: Thomas Barwick)

If you’re wondering when to harvest radishes, you’re in the right place. This crunchy, delicious root crop is one of the easiest vegetables to grow and we’ve got some top tips from expert gardeners on when to harvest this tasty vegetable. 

The most important first step in how to grow radishes and when to plant radishes is when to harvest them once fully grown. Get this right, and you can be enjoying a homegrown harvest, high in vitamin C and packed with antioxidants, year round. 

When to harvest radishes 

Radishes in How to grow radishes

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Check the size of your radishes before picking by removing just the top layer of soil around one of the plants in the row. Radishes are ready to harvest once they've grown to about 1in/2.5cm in diameter. 

Summer radishes are best harvested young. Pull and eat fresh, when crunchy and delicious. Winter radishes can be left in the ground and dug up as required, or lifted in November and stored.

Don’t leave radishes in the ground once they are ready – they will become tough and woody and the flavor won’t be anywhere near as good as the young plants.

How long should radishes be in the ground?

Radishes will be ready to harvest quite rapidly, as soon as three weeks after planting for some varieties. 

Pull one out and test it before harvesting the rest. You'll want your radish to be firm to the touch. Do not leave radishes in the ground long after their mature stage. Their condition will deteriorate quickly after the initial harvesting period has passed.

How do you pick radishes?

A good way to tell if the radishes are ready to be harvested is to simply pull one from the soil. If the soil is particularly crusted or hard, use a garden fork or trowel to gently lift the root from the soil. Cut the tops and tail root from the radishes and wash them. Dry them well and store them in the refrigerator in a cooler bag until ready to use. 

Don’t forget about the radish greens too. They are also edible and can be stored separately in a salad crisper for up to three days. Radishes add a fresh, peppery note to salads, but did you know you can also roast them along with other root vegetables? Roasting radishes reduces their tongue-biting kick, and the flavor becomes more earthy and mellow. If you’re harvesting your own, it’s certainly worth a try. 

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.