Radish Raphanus sativus L. - Tuber and horticultural plants - Herbaceous crops

Radish Raphanus sativus L. - Tuber and horticultural plants - Herbaceous crops

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Family: Brassicaceae - Cruciferae
Species: Raphanus sativus L.

French: Radis; English: Radish; Spanish: Rabanito; German: Monatsradies.

Origin and diffusion

Radish or radish (Raphanus sativus L.) is a herbaceous plant, belonging to the Brassicaceae family, grown for enlarged lipocotyl, commonly called root, with a more or less spicy flavor and spicy consistency. In Italy it is grown on an area of ​​about 1,000 hectares, 3/4 in the open field and 1/4 in protected cultivation. The product is primarily intended for the internal market.

Bunches of Radishes - Raphanus sativus L. (website photo)

Botanical characters

The aerial part has lobed leaves with an irregularly serrated margin. The flowers, equipped with four petals, are white, pink or violet; the fruit is The fruit is a siliqua which contains reddish, round or slightly elongated seeds.

Radish flowers - Raphanus sativus L. (photo website)

Environmental needs

It prefers loose and well-endowed soils with organic substance.
The cultivation of radish takes advantage of medium-textured soils that tend to be calcareous, irrigated, and endowed with organic matter.
Crop rotation is an essential practice for radish cultivation; if in main crop it is to be considered for renewal, if in small interlayer surfaces. Rotations with other cruciferous plants are not recommended.


The cultivated varieties are numerous and are classified according to the shape and color of the root or the growing season. The most common varieties in Italy for round and red radishes are Cherry Belle and Saxa, for white and oblong radishes Candela di Ghiaccio, while for red and oblong radishes Candela di Fuoco, Long Radish or Turin or Tabasso.

Cultivation technique

The cultivation cycle lasts from a minimum of three weeks, in the summer, to a maximum of 2-3 months during the winter.
After grinding, processing (frangizollatura) is carried out for the breaking of the clods and flattening of the ground, followed by a further amminutation of the soil; before sowing it is advisable to roll. Phosphatic and potassic fertilizers are distributed in pre-sowing.
4 to 8 kg / ha of seed are used with manual sowing; and from 2 to 3 kg / ha with mechanical sowing of
precision, with surface distribution (1-2 cm deep). The distance between the rows is 10-15 cm, and 3-4 cm on the row. Lazoto is distributed divided in pre-sowing and coverage.
It needs frequent watering.
Radish cultivation can also be practiced with soilless cultivation techniques.

Collection, production and conservation

The production per hectare is around 30 quintals. The radish is sold packaged in bunches, ready for consumption, with leaves, or, more rarely, in bags, without leaves.

Adversity and pests

The most harmful parasite is the Cabbage Altica (Phyllotreta spp.) Which damages the leaves both in the larva and adult stages.

Video: Selecting Cover Crops - Dave Robison