This weekend, in addition to the list of jobs I had written for myself to get on with, I decided to plant some radishes for the balcony project. This is a new one for me as I have never grown radishes in containers before, so we will see how they do πŸ™‚

I do have some space left in the window box troughs I am using, but have decided to continue with the recycling project and plant them in plastic trays. Now, without being able to fall back on the trusty camera for pics, I am going to have to try to describe the trays I am talking about. The boxes are about 15″ long, 12″ wide and 4″ deep, and are made of what I can only describe as a blue plastic “mesh”, with a slightly raised pillar in each corner for stacking. We get these from the local supermarket fruit and veg section. They only throw them away otherwise, and are quite happy to let us have some.

Whilst I was trying to come up with a better way of describing the trays, I suddenly had a flashback to my childhood. We used to use trays that were very similar to these but made of hardboard, and my father used to refer to them as tomato boxes because, you’ve got it, tomatoes were shipped in them – I guess this recycling thing is nothing new πŸ™‚

The reason for choosing the trays for radishes is that radishes don’t have a lot of root. Basically, what you see when you pick up a bunch of radishes, is what you need to leave room for in the ground. They aren’t like beans or peas which have big deep roots. The tray will leave me enough room to grow maybe half a tray, wait a week, then plant another half a tray and so on. That way I should have a succession of plantings that should crop continuously over a period of weeks and provide me with a supply of lovely fresh radishes. The only downsides I can see with this system are firstly,that half a tray at a time might not be enough and secondly, that I might not have enough room on my balcony for all those trays.

So, take your tray, line it with newspaper, and then nearly fill it with compost. Thinly sow your radish seed on the top of the compost, and then cover with another half inch or so of compost and water. Place in a nice sunny spot and keep the compost damp. When growing in containers like this, it is well worth the extra time taken to really sow the seed thinly to avoid overcrowding and the need for thinning.

Radishes are one of those incredibly rewarding crops to grow – before you know it the seedlings will be showing, and then it’s only a short wait before you are adding nice, fresh, crisp radishes to your summer salads πŸ™‚

What are you growing in containers this year?

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