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To thin or not to thin?

 
dan long
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I unintentionally planted my radishes WAY to close. To thin or not to thin?

If I leave them how they are, they will continue to suppress weeds. There are A LOT of tiny weed starts in my bed (long story on that).

If i don't thin, i probably wont have any roots. On the other hand, i might not get any anyways as i intentionally chose radishes for their ability to break apart compacted soil. They are in a few inches of good soil on top of hard, compacted, unfriendly soil.

If I leave them and thin later when they have some more radish greens to offer, will the others cowboy up and take that space over? Or are they going to just be done growing and not even try to make some fat, juicy roots?
 
Adam Klaus
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I would 'harvest to thin'. Pull out lots of little sprouts, in clumps even, and then eat them. Do this as often as you have a complete carpet covering the ground. The remaining radishes will spread their leaves to cover the exposed ground. Rinse and repeat. After a few weeks of this you will have a nicely spaced planting of radishes, say and inch or two apart, and those radishes will be able to grow properly and develop some good roots. I love this technique, it yields the most food, and suppresses weeds effectively.

good luck!
 
Dale Hodgins
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I planted radishes and beets in nice soil over hard pan. They self harvested by popping up and tipping over as they pushed against the hard pan.

I like Adam's "rinse and repeat" statement. This could be used in many situations.
 
Wes Hunter
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Unless you planted some kind of daikon radish, I might not count on them breaking your compacted soil too much. A large part of the edible root tends to grow above ground on a normal garden radish anyway, and you're not likely to get much of anything without thinning, not even enough root to effectively break your soil. As has already been mentioned, eat the thinnings. Call them "microgreens" and pretend you spent a bunch of money per pound on them, and they might taste better.
 
Peter Ellis
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Wes Hunter wrote:Unless you planted some kind of daikon radish, I might not count on them breaking your compacted soil too much. A large part of the edible root tends to grow above ground on a normal garden radish anyway, and you're not likely to get much of anything without thinning, not even enough root to effectively break your soil. As has already been mentioned, eat the thinnings. Call them "microgreens" and pretend you spent a bunch of money per pound on them, and they might taste better.


chuckle. you are not kidding about them not being likely to push through a hardpan. I have sand (not "sandy soil"- sand) and my radishes were popping right up out of the ground. Carrots had the good sense to keep their roots in the ground, but not radishes
 
ben harpo
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Location: Illinois, zone 6b
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Every new gardener doesn't thin as much as they should. Try thinning severely in one area and not in another and see what happens.

Tiny weeds mean its time to cultivate with a hoe as soon as possible. They won't stay tiny forever.
 
Dale Hodgins
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I've found that doing little to nothing about weeds works for me. I might pull a few during harvest and purposefully step on a clump of weeds at the same time. That's all. Vegetables are planted so close that they close the canopy which prevents weeds from thriving.
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