Saturday, August 14, 2010

Oh my, Radishes!

Oh my, radishes are hot this week! Lots of farmers and gardeners are planting radishes as a soil builder.

This field in Pennsylvania really started this craze in the midwest a few years ago. Steve Groff understood the value of radishes as a cover crop and thought he would raise his own for seed.

They worked out quite well but he soon learned he couldn't produce them for seed like they can in the Willamette Valley of Oregon or the Canterbury Plains in the South Island of New Zealand. Most of the specialty seed is grown in these two regions so far from each other but so similar in climate and soil and distance from the equator. Can you believe we have been to both places in this past year?

A year ago we were at the Iowa State Fair for the first time, on our way to the Northwest to get on our ship to Alaska. We stopped at at Nusbaum's and Mulkey's where they grow these specialty seeds. I have planted seeds that came out of their combines. I really like to know where things come from and find the best quality from people I know and trust. That has been a mission of mine the past few years when I learned the value of quality seed. That started in 1990 when Leon Bird visited me in the Warren County Extension Office.

Crop Talk has become the hot spot for radish discussions. I did a search using the keyword radish on their Search function and got a ton of links to discussions.

Radishes are hot across the continent during this hot August.

Are you planting radishes?