Cultivation of Radish (Raphanus sativus L. )

Cultivation of Radish (Raphanus sativus L. )
 Radish (Raphanus sativus L. ) belongs to the family Cruciferae and it is a popular and important root vegetable throughout India. It is cultivated for its edible root and become ready for harvest after sowing in live to six weeks. Radish could be grown as inter-crop between rows or plants of slower growth. The fleshy roots are eaten raw or in a salad or cooked. The fruits of radish are also cooked as vegetables. Radish tops are cooked as leafy vegetables and are rich in minerals and Vitamin-A and C.
Nutritive Value
The nutritive value of radish roots in 100 gm of the edible portion is given below:
Moisture – 94.4 gm, Protein- 0.7 gm, Fat- 0.1 gm, Minerals – 0.6 gm, Fibre- 0.8 gm, Other Carbohydrates – 3.4gm , Calories -17 ,Thiamine
– 0.06 mg, Nicotinic acid 0.5 mg, Oxalic acid – 9.00, Calcium – 50.0 mg, Phosphorus-22 mg , Iron- 0.4 mg , Sodium – 33.0 mg ,Potassium – 138.0 ,Vitamin A – 5 IU. Riboflavin 0.02 mg, Vitamin-C-15 mg
Radish has cooling effects, prevents constipation, increases appetite, and very tasty when both roots and leaves are cooked together. It is recommended to patients suffering from piles, liver troubles, enlarged spleen, and jaundice. Through radish itself is not easily digestible when taken with Gur, it gets digested and its unpleasant odor is also suppressed
Radish is probably a native of Europe or Asia  It was very popular among the ancient Egyptians and Greeks. It seems to have been reached England in about 1548 and in America in 1629. As it is found growing wild in the Mediterranean region, so many people regard its origin to be somewhere in south-west Europe.
Radish is tolerant to heat but to produce good flavored, texture, and good size radish, a cool-season with a temperature between 10°C and 15°C is required. If grown in hot weather, small rooted varieties produce tough and extremely pungent roots. They should be harvested while still young and small rather than allowed to reach edible size. The long large acclimatized varieties grown all over India are hard and they can withstand heat and rain much better. Plant bolt normally, when the day is 8 to 10 hours long but as the length is increased, the size and growth of leaves increase and bolting is also quick and the growth rate is also reduced appreciably. Long day, as well as high temperature, produce premature seedlings or formation of stalks without adequate roots
Soil and its preparation
Radish may be grown on all types of soil. But a light, friable soils rich in organic matter are best suited for radish crop. Radish requires very fine loose and friable seedbed. The soil is brought to a fine tilth by giving 6-8 ploughings followed by planking after each ploughing.
Varieties of Radish; 
Radish roots vary greatly in size, shape, and exterior color. The common varieties of radish grown are as follows:



Kashi Aardra (VRRAD-150 )

Suitable for sowing during mid-September to mid-December;Roots are attractive white in color, long and icicle in shape.Roots are ready to harvest in 40-45 days after sowing.• Root yield (24-40 t/ha). • Seed rate: 8-10 kg/ha. Sowing time: Rabi• States: West Bengal and Assam Source; IIHR , Varanasi


The roots are round to slightly tapering, 10-12 cm in length and width, white in color. • Weighing 180-200 g at edible maturity. • Roots are ready to harvest in 55-60 days after sowing. • Root yield (35 t/ha). Seed rate: 7-8 kg/ha. • States: J&K, H.P. and Uttarakhand Source; Ranichauri, 2019

Pusa  Deshi

Pusa Desi: It is a subtropical the cultivar, suitable for sowing from the middle of August to October in the northern plains Roots are pure white, 30-35 cm long, tapering with green stem end, It matures in 50-55 days after sowing. Suitable for sowing in northern India from mid-August to mid- October.

Pusa Chetki

This variety has wider adaptability and can tolerate high temperatures. Suitable for growing mid- March to mid- August in northern and central parts of India. In southern and western parts of India, It can be grown throughout the year. Roots are medium long, stumpy, pure white, mildly pungent, and mature in 40-45 days. It is grown as a summer and monsoon crop from April September.

Pusa Reshmi

The roots are 30-45cm long, white with green tinge on top. Suitable for early sowing from mid- September to mid-November but it can tolerate the slightly higher temperatures. Roots are ready for harvesting in about 55- 60 days.

Japanese White

The roots are cylindrical 25-30 cm long and 5 cm in diameter, skin pure white, flesh crisp, solid, and mildly flavored. Suitable for growing between October- December in the plains and July September in the hills. Crop matures in 60-65 days.

Punjab Safed

Roots are white tapering, smooth, mild in taste, free of forking, 30-40 cm in length and 3-5 cm thick. The crop matures in 50-60 days. Suitable for sowing in September-October. It is a quick-growing type with roots remaining edible for 10 days after attaining full size.

Kalianpur No. 1

Roots 20-23 cm long, white with green shoulder.


Roots are long, light pink, popular in Himachal Pradesh.

Arka Nishant

Roots are long, marble white, resistant to pithiness and pre- mature bolting. Chinese Pink Roots 12- 15 cm long, semi-stumpy to stumpy, pink with white colour towards the tip. The skin is shining red and smooth and the flesh is white, crisp, solid and mildly pungent. Crop matures in 50-55 days.

Pusa Himani

Sowing is done in northern plains from December February. Roots are 30-35 cm in length and 10- 12 cm in diameter. Rots are pure white with green stem end. They are semi-stump to tapering with short tops. The skin is pure white, the flesh is crisp and sweet- flavored with mild pungency. Crop matures in 55 days. It is the only variety, which can be grown throughout the year in the hills except for winter months from November-January.

White Icicle

It is a medium-short European table variety, which matures in 25-30 days. The roots are 12-15 cm long, 2-3 cm in diameter. Sowing time from mid-October to February. The skin is pure white, while the flesh is icy white, juicy, and sweet- flavored. Suitable for kitchen garden.

Rapid Red White Tipped

It is an extra early European Table type, which matures in 25-30 days. The roots are smooth, small, round, bright red with white tip, flesh pure white crisp, and snappy. Sowing time from mid- October to February

Some other promising Varieties are Pusa Himani. Hill Queen, Bombay Red, Chinese Rose, Contai Red, Kalyani White, Arka Nisanth, Kalimpong Red, Johunpur Giant, etc.
Sowing of Seed
(a) Time of sowing. Radish is grown practically all year-round. The seeds are sown in succession at an interval of 15 days or so to get a continuous supply. In South India, they are sown once or twice a week in order to have continuous supply all the year-round . Radish is generally sown from September to January in the plains and March to August in the hills. Sowing is usually done at different times in different states, viz: State
Sowing time Sothern states;     March-August
Other Parts;   Summer Crop. – Mid. March-Mid. April. 
                       Rainy Crop –     May-June. 
                       Winter Crop –    Mid. September-Mid. December
(b) Seed rate. 4 kg of seeds are required to one acre with large varieties and 5 kg for temperate type. The seed rate may vary from 6 to 11.5 kg per hectare.
(c) Method of sowing. Radish seeds are generally sown on ridges 45 apart and about 23 cm high in small furrows with fine sand or soil mixed by hand. The seed is covered with soil and then the soil is made firm around it. Seeds treated with Thiram @ 2.5 gm per kg of seed should be sown.
Radish is a quick-growing crop. Hence it requires readily available nutrients in the soil. A yield of 100 quintals of radish per hectare removes 50 kg of Nitrogen, 20 kg of Phosphoric acid, and 50 kg of Potassium, and 30 kg of Calcium (Laske, 1962).
The Manure schedule for radish per acre is given below: 
(a) Compost or F.Y.M.: 10-15 cartloads.
(b) Fertilizers: 30 kg Nitrogen, 15 kg Phosphoric acid, and 15 kg Potassium.
All quantity of phosphorus and potassium and half of the nitrogen should be applied with the last preparatory tillage. The remaining half of nitrogen is applied as topdressing in two equal doses after three weeks and 4 to 5 weeks of sowing seeds.
Rainy season crops need no irrigation. If moisture is not enough after sowing the seeds, light irrigation is given, and later on the crop is irrigated when the plants are 5 to 7.5 cm long and 3 to 4 leaves are formed. Subsequent irrigations are given in the crop according to sowing time and season. The field should not be irrigated much but care should be taken that the field may not become dry and compact and the root development is checked.
Intercultural Operations
Two or three weedings may be done to keep down the seasonal weeds. The third weeding is done, if necessary, after an interval of 15 days of the first and second weeding. At the second weeding, thinning in thick sown plants should be done to keep them at 1.5 to 2.5 cm (small varieties) and 5 to 10 cm (big varieties) spacing.
Pest and Disease of Radish 
Pest of Redish





Aphids are the most serious pests of radish. They attack both seedlings and mature crops. Cloudy humid weather conditions favours the spread of their infestation. In case of heavy infestation the plants are completely devitalized, leaves and shoots curl up, become yellowish and finally die.

Spraying Malathion 50% in the ratio of one litre in 1000 litres of water gives sufficient high percentage of kill with a residual effect of 2- 3 weeks. Nicotin sulphate one litre in 800 litres of water is also effective at higher temperature of about 210 C. Spraying Nuvacron (1.25ml) or Metasystox (2ml) per litre of water is also recommended.



This is a common pest of radish and turnip. In radish, it appears when the crop is in flowering and at vegetative stage. The damage is done by the group by biting holes in the leaves and fruits.

Mustard saw-fly can be controlled by dusting 10% BHC at the rate of 15-20 kg per hectare at the vegetative growth of the infested crop and 35-40 kg per hectare at the seed formation stage. Spraying of 4 gm Sevin 50 W.P. per litre of water at weekly interval can also control this pest.

Flee beetle

In some areas, it becomes a serious pest on the vegetative parts of the plants which are eaten by this pest.

It can be controlled by spraying with Malathion (0.15%) or Sevin (0.4%) at 10 to 15 days interval.

 Diseases of Radish




Alternaria blight

This disease is caused by Alternaria raphonic. Symptoms usually first appear on the leaves in the form of yellowish, slightly raised I spots or Iesions. These lesions enlarge many times on seed pods. Infection spreads rapidly during rainy weather, and the entire food may be so infected that the styler end becomes black and shriveled. The fungus penetrates the pod tissues ultimately infecting the seeds. The infected seeds may lose their viability.

Use of disease free seeds is the prime requirement. Spraying of the crop with fungicides is recommended if seeds are being produced or if the vegetable crop is of high value. In the latter case spraying should be done only in the early stages of plant growth. Copper oxychloride (0.5 to 0.75%), Maneb (0.2%), or Zineb (0.25%) or Blitox 50 can be used as spray. Two to three sprayings will be sufficient.

White rust

White rust of radish is caused by Albugo candida. In some areas, the disease assumes a serious problem of radish. It produces a white powdery substance in patches on the under surface of the leaves. It mainly appears on the leaves and flowering shoots which get deformed and bear only malformed flowers.

Destruction of diseased crop debris helps in reducing the inoculum. Weed control and other sanitary precautions are also essential. Among fungicides 0.8% Bordaux mixture or Dithane Z- 78 (0.3%) can be sprayed for the effective control of the disease.

Downy mildew

This disease is caused by the fungus Peronospora parasitico . In addition to radish, the fungus also attacks cauliflower, cabbage, turnip, etc. The disease is characterized by the appearance of the purplish brown spots on the under surface of the leaves. These spots may remain small or enlarge considerably. The upper surface of the leaf above the lesion is tan to yellow. Downy growth usually appears on the under surface of these lesions.

Crop rotation, clean seed beds, destruction of weed and other sanitary measures are important to check the spread of the disease. Intensity of the disease can be reduced by spraying 0.2% Maneb, 2-3 times at 10 days interval after the disease has been noticed in the field.

Black rot

This disease is caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas compestris. It effects almost all the cruciferous plants all over the world. It is a seed-borne disease. The plant may be affected at any time during its growth from the youngest seedling until it matures. On young seedlings, the cotylcdons are affected at the margins which show blackening and such cotyledons die. Later, infection of leaves occurs through water pores at the margins. The infected tissues I turn yellow and the chlorosis occurs. The veins show a brown or black discolouration.

The pathogen lives only for one year in the field, hence two years crop-rotation is sufficient to check the soil borne infection. For seed treatment a number of antibiotics such as Agromycin (0.01 %), Streptocycline (0.01%), Agromycin, ete. are available. One of the recommendation is to give hot water treatment at 520 C for 30 minutes. Application of 10-12 kg stable bleaching powder per hectare as soil drench is also effective.

Radish mosaic

It is a viral disease. The symptoms first appear as small, circular to an irregular chlorotic lesion in between and adjacent to the veins. Little or no leaf distortion is noticed, and stunting or abnormal leaf formation rarely occurs. Severe yield loss in susceptible cultivars of radish is caused due to this viral disease.

The disease can effectively be checked by controlling aphids with insecticides and weed hosts by spraying weedicides.

Radish phyllody

It is a disease of radish seed crop which appears at the time of flowering. The sepals, petals, and carpels of the affected flower show the phyllody condition and stamens become sepaloid. The degree of phyllody increases in the direction of carpels.

So far no suitable control measures have been evolved for this discase.

Radish should be harvested according to the variety when the roots are still tender and crisp. All the radish are not harvested from the whole field at one time. But they are harvested as and when they become big enough for the market or home consumption. Radish should be harvested at the proper time. A few day’s delays in harvesting, particularly the temperate type make roots pithy and quite unsuitable for the market.
The Indian varieties yield about 56 to 75 quintal and European and Asiatic varieties may yield about 18 to 28 quintal per acre. .  European varieties yielded about 3200 kg per acre and the Asiatic type may be yielded between 8000 and 16000 kg. 

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