I proposed a similar question in the vegetable forum and thought possibly I could find some help here as well. I have been experimenting with growing fresh salad foods indoors this winter and would like to figure out a way to grow radishes indoors. Problem number one is spacing. I have a three tiered PVC plant stand which works nicely for potted lettuce, spinach, as well as several herbs on the bottom shelf. The upper two shelves each have room for four standard seed trays which might work as planting trays. I have also considered using the Costco roasted chicken clear plastic domes which also work nicely for onion seed starting. These domes are probably a better fit depth wise and I can place two domes in a seed tray. The problem seems to be the ability to harvest a decent crop without devoting a huge amount of space to the process. I thought about close cropping in these covers which could supply up to a week’s worth of radishes, making successive plantings weekly. Any thoughts on the subject would be appreciated.
Why don't you try a few in those 1 1/2" plant trays to see how it works. Just make one test pack and if it's successful you can always plant more. It doesnt take all that long for radishes to develop. Especially the little round red ones.
Got lots of those trays Frank and plenty of the round red radish seeds left over so I will give that a try. I picked up some Icecycle radish seeds from Home Depot to try in the Costco roasted chicken lids as well. There is really no trick to growing radishes in the garden, however I have never heard of anyone attempting to grow them indoors. We shred carrots in the food processor, blanch and freeze them for winter salads as well as peas. I asked my wife what she thought of freezing shredded radishes this year and she said she didn't see problem. But here again, I have never heard of anyone doing this. I would presume they would need to be blanched as well. Might check this out in another forum.
Wonder about that as well. For salads we do small packages and transfer them to the refrigerator for a day before using. Longer than a few days in the refrigerator and they too get mushy. Nothing beats fresh from the garden.
I focus on just what I can eat. My yard is pretty much a testament to that. I came from a state where grass was allowed to go dormant in the heat of the summer and I can never get use to how the locals here water their lawns day and night in the heat of the summer and mow every third day, keeping their lawns looking like the flat top haircuts of the 50's. I let my grass grow to about six inches in the spring and can't wait for summer dormancy so I don't have to mow. We finally broke down and hired a lawn service to spray three times a year to control the weeds and dandelions. We don't allow the lawn service to get near our garden or apple trees, but I did had a neighbor on the east that would spray DDT when the wind was out of the east. Fortunately he couldn't stand living to an outsider and moved on. My garden and lawn stand out like a sore thumb and it is a testament to the fact that I am not a 'native' Montanan. It's funny to hear the locals talk like they come from Sweden and view the fact that after three generations, they are the natives and everyone else is an outsider. My only concession to edible gardening is about a dozen Yuccas’ across the back of my yard. They get cultivated and watered less frequently than my yard and stay green all year long. If it were up to me I would replace my lawn with more garden, but I have my hands full as is and I'm sure the natives would run me out of town if I did. Can’t you just feature and edible lawn Frank!!! Half dozen pounds of leaf lettuce and a bagger on my lawn mower and I could feed half the town.
Having been born in (not for long) and stationed on a couple of occasions in California I know what you mean about the grass in summer. I could never get used to it or the eucalyptus trees. I was basically raised in Arkansas. Retired from the service in 83 and moved to Maine. My wife is from up here. I do mow my grass once a week with the flat top look (lol). Have about an acre in town so we have several flower beds besides the veggies. I can just see you mowing leaf lettuce. At least you wouldn't have to shred it for salad. When I was growing up my dad always grew leaf lettuce. We'd eat it in a wilted salad style and I do miss it. I'm just to lazy to fix it and DW would rather have head lettuce.
Looks like we have much in common here Frank. Like you I was raised mostly in Kansas but did spend some time in Arizona where my dad was stationed during the war. Moved to Montana after we retired from government service. My wife also has family ties here. Please tell your wife for me that the head lettuce from the grocery store has no real food value and zero vitamins. Of course I tell my wife the same and she ignores me.
My wife is on a never ending health food spree but she does get Romaine alot. She knows about the lettuce of little value. I have grown some mixed greens/lettuce/salad mix and will probably do the same this year. Probably build some containers for them so I can extend the season. I usually get my seeds from Johnny's here in Maine. I like experimenting with what I can grow in containers. I have done summer squash and large tomatoes so far. Haven't had much luck with the winter squash though. I'm also thinking of trying raspberries too. Had some before but they almost got out of control and I got tired of fooling with them.
Well, I cannot grow radishes. In the ground or containers. i guess it is to easy for me and I probably over think them.
I have a clover and diacondra front lawn. Mraider, if you grew clover you could use the clippings in your compost or be like me and feed your worms. And my clover front lawn, very small surrounded by beds (flower) only needs cut about every 3 weeks. Ye, it would freeze back but is actually very hardy and would probably come back. You should try a small plot to see what happens.
I have been going on long walks and picking all the dandelions blooms. In about 1/2 hour walk I will pick about 25 blooms. My worms are getting clover blooms and dandelions blooms. They should be making honey, not worm castings.
We were in the 80s and now down to low 50s. I am just about done with the garden clean up. I fell earlier in the week and hit the same shoulder I injured last year. It was my fault. I was trying to get into an bed and I knew I needed to go another way. Anyway, stubborn old lady went ahead and fell. Hit a large boulder and I had to crawl out onto the clover and get on all fours to get up. I was in the front landscape but no one saw me. Anyway, my neighbors are used to seeing me falling or stumbling. They know I do not drink and the majority know about my balance problem.
I picked several ripe tomatoes yesterday to go with my salad food. I can't see much difference in indoor container vegetables as compared to the outdoor variety. Flavor and nutrition should be about the same as garden produced. I have decided to try some mini-cucumbers as well. I planted some loose leaf lettuce (black seeded Simpson) in the pot with the tomato plants and it wasn't nearly as good as the red salad bowl lettuce in a separate pot so I am adding some radish seed to the tomato pot. In the past I have taken down my PVC planter stand and stored it in the shed during the winter months, but I have decided to leave it up and grow more veggies indoors. I wonder why I had not thought about this before. It adds a whole new dimension to gardening and considering the food budget savings with soaring market prices I am convinced there should be a lot more people doing this very thing.
With the new threads on French intensive gardening and square foot gardening my head is once again spinning. I have been making lists of all the new things I want to try again this year and last year it was up to ten pages. I have no idea how many pages it will be this year because it keeps changing daily. The plans for the raised beds this year could possibly provide all the table food we need for up to eight months and adding in container garden during our long winters we can be covered for the full twelve.
We have patches of clover in our front yard as well but we have a law service come in three times a year to control the dandelions. Personally I didn't mind having the dandelions. They helped me get rid of a pesky neighbor who was intentionally spraying his lawn in back when the wind would blow into my garden. I reversed the favor and let my front yard go until the dandelions were well into seed and mowed back in his direction. He didn't use a yard service so no matter what he did he had thousands of dandelions growing in his lawn. He sold his home to a young couple with three kids, now four. I told them part of the story but didn't have the heart to tell them the whole story. It took two seasons of spraying to eliminate the dandelions so I could conform to the neighborhood code, but I refuse to mow three times a week and water day and night which seems to be the Montana way.
I have a fairly large area of native grass in the back next to my garden Sharon and your idea struck me as interesting. I had thought about planting alfalfa there one time but gave up on that one. I can get alfalfa grass and alfalfa hay bales from a local farmer about ten minutes away. I am going to attempt to grind some of the last year’s alfalfa hay with some free wood chips from a mill less than an hour from here. I can use these with my composted cow/hay to produce the growing media for the raised beds. Using cut clover in the raised bed in which I vermicompost the cow/hay manure along with garden scraps sounds like a great idea. Will be looking into that one. I plan to check this bed out today since it should getting into the 50's, for a while anyway. The worms in this deep bed hopefully survived this tough long winter we have had.
I love the way you folks think. I have mixed grasses in my yard including clover. Last year I planted clover between my raised beds so now all I have to do is mow every once in awhile between the beds and throw the clippings on the beds for mulch (along with other stuff) plus the clover is a nice nitrogen fixer.
I understand the intensive and square foot gardening and it works really well. I usually have main veggies in the raised beds but add stuff like lettuce and beets, turnips, marigolds, etc around the main plants. Helps with pest control (except groundhogs).
I've got to thinks about toms and cukes indoors/containers. I have the basement, grow lights and heat pads which I think they would need as my basement tends to stay cool in the winter. I know toms stop growing in cool weather. I may be able to rig something though so it will keep what heat can be produced around the plants. Yup, I really got to think on that.
I'm also trying the "no dig" method in the beds. Last year I didn't notice a great deal of difference when I didn't dig. You just have to stick a fork in as deep as it will go and wiggle it back and forth to loosen the subsoil after the winter snows have compacted it.
I've go so much stuff planned to do in the garden I don't know if I'm going to have the room or time to do it all; but I'm sure going to try. Especially the ongoing experiments. That's one thing about DG; there always seems to be something new to try.
My list of new things to try has exploded beyond my ability to accomplish everything on the list. Last season was over ten pages and not all of the ideas were implemented. Just not enough time in the day to do everything I would like to. I had not tried the no-till method of gardening Frank until last season when I planted dill on one end of my rock wall. The dill did about as well as the garden dill which I am attempting to eliminate, and it provided enough for the pickle canning. However, I am not totally sold on the idea for raised beds. I completely removed the material in these beds a few weeks ago and found a two inch layer of compacted clay which had washed out of the garden soil which was added to the growing mix. I am in the process of rethinking the raised beds for this year using French intensive gardening and square foot gardening as mentioned but I will substitute for the garden soil. I have several ideas for planting the rock wall this year for the first time which will incorporate both Lasagna Gardening principals as well as French intensive gardening techniques. My recollecting of no dig comes from Kansas wheat fields which are planted on some of the poorest soils, mostly sand. They use ammonia fertilizer and the yield rates are typically less than 40bu/ac. Even though I now have about a four to six inch layer of composted materials on top of my rock wall I plan to pick down about two feet for each plant I intend to plant and refill the hole with about a foot of fresh horse manure. The remaining foot will be composted manure and various other components.
Sharon, I just planted some radish seeds in the tomato plant container which has some Simpson black seeded lettuce also growing in it as sort of mulch. The lettuce is patchy so I added the radish seed to the bare holes to seed what would happen. What do you do with radish sprouts; add them to your salads?