Bright red crunchy radishes

French Breakfast radish

This bite sized treat is one of the easiest of all vegetables to grow and my favourite radish. Mild flavoured ‘French Breakfast’ radish (Raphanus sativus) was first introduced in Paris in 1879. The market porters in Paris used to eat these radishes with butter and salt as a mid-morning treat, hence French Breakfast. Sow seed into any reasonable garden soil in full sun to semi-shade, keep moist and thin to 5cm spacings once they have a few leaves. Add the thinned leaves to salad. Bubls can be harvested after 4-6 weeks and if you want to make sure you have them on hand when ever you feel like one, then sow new seed every three weeks. These mildly spicey radishes make a delicious snack on their own, or dunked in a dip, or emulate the French porter and cut in half, spread with butter and sprinkle with salt, yum! They are also, of course, delicious in salads or used as a garnish on a range of dishes. Young and older leaves also make a slightly spicey salad leaf.

If you want to save seed, then look for the best shaped and coloured bulbs and leave them to produce flower heads. They will grow quite tall so may need to be staked to stop them from falling over. Once in flower, like other plants in this family, they will be swarming with beneficial insects. After pollination, the green seed pods that form can be harvested and used raw in salad or pickled and used as a garnish, but make sure you leave enough to save the dried seed. If you want to collect seed that will grow true to type, then only grow and flower one variety at a time. Seed remains viable for about 5 years.