Humble radish comes in wondrous variety

Humble radish comes in wondrous variety

We won’t be planting radishes for a few months, but we can sure eat them right now. Radishes are one of the things, like beets, that I saw my parents eating but swore I would never try. Do our taste buds change? Do we expand our eating horizons? Not sure, but I love them now.

This crop is just so beautiful that it can be used to decorate your dinner table! And have you seen the varieties of radishes lately? These crunchy beauties can be spicy or mild, round or oblong, and big or small. You can choose your favorite color, ranging from reddish-purple to rosy pink, pure white, green or even black. The White Icicle is pungent and about 6 inches long. The Sparkler is round and bright red. The Cherry Belle is the delish common radish found in your supermarket. French Breakfast is mild and extra-crunchy. Early Scarlet Gold is an heirloom that is round with white flesh. Daikon Long White are huge radishes that can grow 18 inches long. Fire and Ice is an oblong that is sweet and half white and half bright red. Want a super unique radish? The Sakurajima Mammoth sometimes reaches about 100 pounds with a sweet, mild flavor. The Green Meat is green inside and out. The Black Spanish has coal-black skin and white flesh. Pick your favorites and then you can search the catalogs to order in your choices for the fall.

You may be like my husband and say, “Why would I want to eat that?” Well, the radish is one of the most nutritious of the root veggies. They are super low calorie but are packed with antioxidants, electrolytes, minerals, vitamins and dietary fiber. Not sold yet? Recent research is suggesting that the radish, like other cruciferous vegetable, contains sulforaphane, which has a proven role in fighting prostate, breast, colon and ovarian cancers.

Radishes are such quick growers. They are grown for the root but you can also eat the leaves when they are young and tender. Radishes can grow in partial shade and don’t need much room to grow. They like loose, well-drained soil about a foot deep. Plant the seeds when the weather gets cooler and through spring. If you make several plantings about a week apart, you will have radishes all of the time. Add fertilizer when planting, and water weekly if it doesn’t rain. Thin out the baby radishes when they start to grow. You can even eat those roots that you thin out of the row. Keep weeds at bay and harvest. Most radishes get hot and stringy if you leave them in the ground too long. They are just so delicious and tender when fresh and young. Claude Monet (the consummate gardener) is said to have loved a washed bowl of fresh, young radishes served with a dish of French butter and a little bowl sea salt for dipping them.

No tax on Texas Superstar plants over Memorial Day weekend

The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts announced the first sales tax holiday for water-efficient products will be Saturday, May 28, through Monday, May 30.

One way residents can reduce outdoor water use is to plant drought-tolerant varieties of flowers, shrubs and trees that have been tested against Texas’ tough conditions. These plants are easily identified by their “Texas Superstar” tag.

Texas Superstar plants are extensively researched by the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension and Research Services before becoming eligible to receive the Superstar designation. These plants must perform reliably in terms of growth, blooming and water needs while exposed to the wide variety of conditions found across the state. Once a variety has been studied and deemed acceptable, it is added to the official Superstar list and then can be marketed as a Texas Superstar.

For a full list of eligible water-saving products, visit the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts’ website. To learn more about Texas Superstar plant varieties, and for a full list of retailers, visit TDA’s GO TEXAN website.