Day 0: Plant and cover the soaked seeds
Day 0: For each small tray, soak 1 Tablespoon of radish seeds for six hours. Spread the soaked seed over the soil evenly, just make sure that the seeds are not overlapping, the seeds can be touching though. Unlike the sunflowers, the radish seed do very well when planted randomly.
When the seeds are planted, place the soaked newsprint paper over the top of the pan and tuck in the edges all around the pan. This will keep the light out, make for a little cup to pour water into if the paper dries out and help to keep the soil and seed moist all at once. Next place the pan in a dark, warm spot like in a kitchen cupboard over the refrigerator. By leaving the sprouts in the dark they tend to reach for the light and that makes the stems longer. Radish is so hardy that I have dropped the seed into the bark rows of my garden and they still sprout!
Day 1: Patience. Check the moisture.
Day 1: After only 24 hours you will see the seeds are yellow and pushing roots down. Try to keep these trays in the dark, with even a little light the shoots along the seeds will reach out under the paper cover! It is just that I like about 2” of stem before I set the tray into the light. The radish will grow in just about any conditions.
Day 2: Don’t even look!
Day 2: The young shoots may have already started to show under the newsprint paper cover. Continue to leave the tray in a dark place. These little guys suck up a lots of water, check the soil for moisture. As early as the second day there will be ‘fuzz’ on the sprouts, these are only root hairs not mold. This is a great science experiment if you have kids around.
Day 3: Check that the soil and paper cover are moist.
Day 3: The push up day. The sprouts can be put into the light this early but I like to wait another day. Check the moisture in the soil. Go ahead and leave the paper cover to keep it in the dark. The leaves will be bright yellow, if the sprouts are left in the dark they will stretch out for the light.
Day 4: Ready for the light.
Day 4: Today the seed may be up as much as 1 to 2 inches. The leaves will be a bright yellow, if there is any light on them the leaves at the edges will have started to green already. Remove the cover, water the soil if needed and place on the widow sill. Any indirect light is fine, even a light bulb. You can almost watch these green up and grow, by the end of the day they will be very green.
Day 5: Radish sprouts turn green in just a few hours.
Day 5: You will notice that the radish sprouts are about a day ahead of the sunflower sprouts. These little sprouts are ready to begin cutting if you need the greens. Brush the greens, like petting a dog, to brush off the hulls. Check the soil moisture again today and this is especially critical if the tray is in direct sun. They need 3 or 4 Tablespoons of water a day or more. They are such fast and prolific growers, they are just a joy to watch.
Day 6: They are growing fast.
Day 6: Check the soil moisture and brush the leaves. Turn the tray around if the greens are leaning a lot. If you need greens they can be harvested now. It is almost a guarantee that they will need water everyday from day 4 until harvest.
Day 7: Harvest time!
Day 7: Harvest the whole tray. Use a pair of scissors or a sharp knife cut the greens just about a ¼” above the soil. Rinse the greens and remove any hulls left. Package in a plastic bag and refrigerate. If you can’t harvest today they will keep on growing in the pan for another few days. Harvest before the first true leaves start to show.
Harvest from your ‘garden’
Nothing could be fresher for salad greens than the soil sprout garden greens.
My name is Peter Weeks, Writer of The Daily Gardener. Gardening has always been my passion, nothing gives me quite the satisfaction that feeling the soil sift through my fingers does. Give me a spade, a shovel, and a rake, and I can happily while away the day transforming a patch of land into a beautiful oasis. To me, gardening is life. It’s not a career. It’s not a job. It’s something that I truly love doing. It’s a way of life, a passion that I’ve no intention of ever giving up.