Top Common Problems Growing Radish and How to Fix It

Growing radishes in your garden has a lot of benefits. But there are a lot of problems gardeners can face when trying to grow these vegetables, So what are the most common problems you’ll come across when growing radishes, and how do you go about fixing them?

Your radishes may face issues such as changing colors or not growing fully or correctly. You can easily fix these problems by doing things such as changing the soil, removing weeds, and rotating your crops. Making small changes like these are very impactful and will leave you with healthier crops. 

In this article, we’ll be going over the most common problems you may face when growing your radishes and how to easily fix these issues. If you’re interested in learning more about these topics, keep on reading. 

Radish Leaves Turning Yellow 

When you spot your radish leaves turning yellow, there could be a number of diseases potentially occurring underneath the surface affecting your crops. 

One of these diseases is known as Septoria leaf spot, which is a fungal disease that affects your plants and crops. While this isn’t completely fatal to your crops, it spreads quickly and will weaken your radishes, hindering them from growing correctly and maturing. 

This fungus lives deep in the soil and will come into contact with your radishes when this bacteria is spread by factors like water and wind. Septoria loves damp conditions, so it’s important to be mindful of that.

If you catch it early, it’s easily manageable, but if your yellow leaves have begun to progress, it may take a while to rid your garden of this bacteria and allow your radishes to regain their health and strength.

Another fungal disease that could be causing your leaves to turn yellow is called blackleg. This disease has more of an effect on the veins of your leaves, causing the leaf to become brittle and weak. 

With blackleg, the stem of your crop will become brown or black and slimy, while also having the same effect on the root. It’s easy for this disease to transmit from plant to plant, so it’s important to get it treated and taken care of early.

The Solution 

We covered some of the most common reasons as to why your radish leaves may be turning yellow, and while these diseases may not be completely fatal to your crops, it’s important to treat them quickly.

First, you’ll want to quickly remove the infected leaves from your crop. Remember to wash your hands after this as your leaves most likely hold a lot of bacteria and fungus.

It’s also recommended that you use an organic fungicide that will help in the removal of these harmful diseases on your crops and leaves. The Bonide Copper Fungicide is an ideal choice if you choose to go this route in terms of removing your yellow leaves.

Not only is this product organic, but the amount of copper in this solution will be really helpful in the prevention of stopping harmful diseases like septoria and blackleg from spreading. 

Radish Isn’t Growing 

There is nothing more frustrating than pulling your crops out of the soil to find that they haven’t formed. You probably feel as if you took all the correct steps and actions and yet have nothing to show for it.

There could be a few reasons for this. For one, in new beds of soil, you may not have loosened the soil deep enough for your radishes to form. With radishes being a root crop, they depend on the soil being loose, so they have plenty of room to expand and develop bulbs.  

It’s also possible that your radishes aren’t growing due to an excess amount of nitrogen in the soil. If your radishes aren’t growing, but the surrounding area looks healthy and vibrant, you may have too much nitrogen in your garden.

While it may not harm your plants and crops, too much nitrogen can cause your crops to become stunted or cease to continue growing at all. 

Another factor that could be causing your radishes to cease growing is overcrowding in your garden. When your crops are overcrowded, they don’t have the space to grow and flourish beneath the soil. 

The Solution 

We explored some of the factors that may be contributing to your radishes not growing.

If you have recently planted a new bed of soil, make sure your soil is loose. As is stated above, your radishes will thrive in loose soil as it gives them room to move and grow. 

Your radishes might also not be capable of forming due to an excess amount of nitrogen in the soil. It’s usually easy to spot this, as nitrogen won’t cause your crops, leaves, or the surroundings to change or look unhealthy. 

Too much nitrogen will just simply cause your crops to stop growing, not weaken them or become unhealthy. To rid your soil of excess nitrogen, you can simply add mulch to the equation, as mulch will help the nitrogen in the soil break down. 

If you choose not to use mulch in your garden, you can also use sawdust as it will have the same effect and will successfully get the job done.

If you believe you’ve potentially overcrowded your radishes, and that’s why they aren’t growing, there’s an easy solution to this. Planting your crops two inches apart allows them plenty of room to grow beneath the surface and form bulbs. 

Radish Leaves Turning White 

If you find that your leaves are turning white, it’s most likely due to mildew or sun scorch. 

Powdery mildew affects a lot of different plants and crops, and this mildew can cause your radishes’ leaves to shrivel off. It’s likely to occur when there is overcrowding in your garden, or perhaps your radishes have been exposed to too much shade.

Sunscorch or sunburn is a consequence of direct sun and can cause white or bleached out looking patterns on your leaves. While sun scorch may not harm your radish’s leaves, it can cause them to droop and become weak. 

The Solution 

If your garden is overcrowded, or your radishes have been subjected to too much shade, the white you see on your leaves may be mildew. 

Growers Trust Powdery Mildew Solution is an organically sourced mildew treatment that will safely clean mildew off your radish’s leaves. There are no harsh chemicals in this product, and it will successfully remove the white from your leaves.

Completely coat all sides of the infected leaves with this solution, and you’ll be able to see your leaves return to their healthy and natural state in no time.

As we stated above, perhaps your radish leaves are turning white because they have been exposed to too much sun. Thankfully, you can prevent sun scorch by using some form of sunshade to keep white blotches on your leaves from forming.

By building or placing some type of sunshade in front of your crop, you’re blocking UV light from coming into contact with your overexposed radishes. With the correct kind of sunshade, your radishes can receive just enough sunshine, but not too much that it becomes harmful. 

Radish Bolting

Radishes can begin bolting during the longer and warmer months. But what exactly is bolting?

If the weather is above what the plant can handle, it will try to escape its environment. You know bolting has occurred when you see the roots and seeds of your radish’s surface. 

Radishes are considered cool-season crops and are usually comfortable in temperatures around 50-65°F (10-18°C). So when the temperatures exceed the comfort zone of your radish, bolting is definitely possible, but thankfully there are ways to prevent it.

The Solution 

It’s suggested that to prevent your radishes from bolting that you plant them during the springtime. This gives your radishes time to grow healthy and strong roots before the warmer months begin.

Before those hot summer months begin, cover the area with mulch and a ground cover to keep your soil and your crops cool. It’s a great way to enjoy cool season crops all year round, no matter what season you’re in. 

Radish Leaves Turning Red 

A lot of gardeners find their green summer leaves turning red unexpectedly, but what does this mean?

If your soil lacks a sufficient amount of phosphorus, sugar can begin building up, which causes your leaves to turn red. Red leaves can also be caused by improper watering practices. Overwatering and underwatering your radishes can cause your radishes to not get all the nutrients or oxygen it needs. 

The Solution 

Turning your red leaves back to green is simple if you know what to do. 

For one, if you suspect that your soil’s phosphorus levels are low, do not add anything to your garden until doing a soil test. The last thing you want is to add too much phosphorus to your soil when it doesn’t need to be needed. 

After you successfully performed a soil test, you’ll know your garden’s phosphorus level and what actions need to be taken in order to maintain balance in your garden.

It’s also important to know how much to water your radishes, as you don’t want to overwater or underwater your crops. Being mindful of all of these practices will keep your leaves their natural green color.

Holes in Your Radish Leaves 

If you see holes in your radish’s leaves, it’s likely that a bug infestation has begun.

Not only will these bugs feed on your leaves, but they’ve likely begun feeding on the roots and stems of your radishes as well. Creatures such as cutworms, flea beetles, and aphids are all guilty of chewing away at the radishes in your garden. 

It’s important to act fast when you notice holes in your leaves, as these critters are feasting on more than your leaves, and it can be detrimental to your radishes in the long run.

The Solution

So how do you stop a bug infestation in its tracks?

There are multiple steps you can take to rid your garden of pests. For one, you can begin by pulling weeds and any other unwanted growth or buildup that sits near your growing radishes.

It would also be helpful to invest in a floating cover of spun polyester garden fabric. Make sure to secure this area with stone, gathering the edges of your cover beneath the stones, so they are held tightly beneath the soil. This will be instrumental in keeping unwanted pests off your growing crops, keeping them healthy and strong. 

This Insect Protection Tunnel will protect your radishes against not only pests but other environmental elements that could bring your crops harm. 

Radish Frost Tolerance 

As we stated above, radishes are cool-season crops, and can usually handle only a certain amount of heat. But what about the cold? Can radishes survive severely cold climates? 

Radishes can actually withstand hard frosts as deep as 26°F (-3°C), and while they may burn the foliage, radishes can survive this temperature. So if you’re worried about your radishes frost tolerance, this crop is quite strong and capable of surviving a large array of different temperatures. 

Yet, it’s still important to take the precautionary steps to keep your cool-season crop healthy and strong. 

The Solution 

You can easily protect your radishes from frost and the colder weather months by applying mulch or compost. Applying these elements to your soil will regulate the temperature and keep frost away from your crops.

We discussed earlier how mulch could benefit your soil in the warmer months as well, so it’s important to remember that mulch can be useful in any season to regulate temperature and keep your crops safe. 

In this video below, you can learn another way in which you can successfully protect your radishes from the extreme cold and frost. 

Radish Leaves Turning Black 

We discussed the effects of overwatering and underwatering earlier, and how your radishes’ leaves can turn red, but they can also turn black for the same reason. 

Not only is improper irrigation a cause of your leaves turning black, but there may be a bacterial or fungal infection at fault. The bacterial infection that your radish may come into contact with is most likely also due to improper irrigation.

When you overwater your crops, you rob them of their nutrients and oxygen supply, and that’s when infections can set in. It’s the same with underwatering, and fungus can also begin to form when your radishes don’t receive enough nutrients or the proper amount of ventilation.

The Solution 

To prevent black bacterial leaf spots, make sure you keep your radishes watered correctly, as well as properly ventilated. Also, it’s important to remember not to overcrowd your crops, and to give them enough space to grow and thrive. 

To avoid fungus buildup on your radishes, it’s recommended to use an organic fungicide solution to get rid of unwanted fungus that’s built up on your vegetables. 

Another way to avoid black leaves from multiplying is to ensure that you haven’t used too much soil. An excessive amount of fertilizer can cause a large buildup of salt, which can cause your leaves to turn black. 

Just remember to be mindful of the amount of fertilizer you are using when creating a foundation for your crops, as well as how much water you are using. 

Radish Roots Splitting 

Radish roots are prone to crackling when the soil they grow in remains uneven.

The roots split due to a lack of consistency when watering. If your radish root goes through a dry period for a few days, followed by an excessive amount of water, it won’t be able to handle all that moisture at once. 

This is harmful because not only are you damaging the root, but your radishes will split and become ruined as well. In order to keep your radish roots healthy and split-free, you must have a consistent watering schedule. 

The Solution 

To ensure that your radish roots don’t split, you must keep your radish bed evenly moist, and make sure you have a set schedule as to when you’ll water your crops. 

Keeping your radish bed dry for days to only then douse it with an excessive amount of water will do more harm than good. Consistent moisture will keep you and your radishes on a strict schedule that will leave you with healthy roots and crops at the end of the day.

Radishes are also likely to split if they stay in the ground too long, so make sure you are mindful of how long your crops have been growing, and take them out at the appropriate time. 

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of the most common problems you may face when growing radishes and how to fix them. 

There are lots of issues you could potentially face when growing radishes in your garden, but now you have all the proper tools and the knowledge to solve these problems safely and successfully.  

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