• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

soil building with daikon radish

 
paul wheaton
steward
Pie
Posts: 19443
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
From fred's thread:



Daikon radish flower:




daikon radish seed pod:




daikon radish root:


 
Mekka Pakanohida
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
paul wheaton wrote:
I just realized that we don't have a thread for the amazing daikon radish.  Anybody have pictures?


I check the archives of the past year.  I have been using Daikon to break my clay soil up as it grows down either through a raised bed or through my "Hazlip"  beds. 
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
has anyone eaten them? I know they use them to break up soils and let them rot, but what about eating them? are they mild, strong, ?
 
Bob Carder
Posts: 8
Location: Tasmania, Australia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
They're delicious.

If grown in the heat of my summer they'll be hot, if eaten in spring or after frosts they are mild and juicy.

If you find them too hot them dice then thinly in salads.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 8854
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
114
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think they are very tasty.  They are slightly spicy but not too much. I like them grated on salads.

I've had some trouble finding large quantities of Daikon seed until someone alerted me to: http://sproutpeople.org/radish.html  I haven't ordered from these folks yet but plan to in the Fall.

Sadly all of my lovely Daikon radishes were killed during our hard freeze.  We got to eat only a few of them.  

Here they are to the right, when they were alive and well:



Frozen to death:

 
Dan Wallace
Posts: 41
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Brenda Groth wrote:
has anyone eaten them? I know they use them to break up soils and let them rot, but what about eating them? are they mild, strong, ?

Yes!
They are quite spicy and strong but they make amazing mild pickles!
 
Steven Baxter
Posts: 254
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
They also make good kim chee
 
                            
Posts: 126
Location: Ava, Mo, USA, Earth
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There is a wide variety of spicyness between different cultivars.  Even with the spicy ones, much of the heat is in the skin and are mild if peeled.

You can have your earth-building and food too.  Over the last decade or so, I've eaten more radish seed than I have the root.  Pick them while they are still tender.  I probably eat more before they even get out of the garden, but they are also very good in soups and stir-fries.
 
maikeru sumi-e
Posts: 313
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Brenda Groth wrote:
has anyone eaten them? I know they use them to break up soils and let them rot, but what about eating them? are they mild, strong, ?


Raw they have some heat and kick to them. Crunchy. You can pickle them, fry them, have them raw and grated in dipping sauces, or stew them until tender and sweet. Tops can be cooked and used similar to other radish or cruciferous veggie leaves. Rich in vitamins. The sweet pickles are particularly good when eaten with rice for breakfast and lunch or as used in makizushi. Daikon will ease the mind, cleanse the body, and soothe the soul. There are 101 ways to eat your daikon. Japanese food is not complete without daikon.
 
chip sanft
Posts: 323
Location: 18 acres & heart in zone 4 (central MN). Current abode: Knoxville (zone 6 /7)
16
bike books dog
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Daikon is low GI, making it a good choice for people who are watching their blood sugar. That's why I like it added to soup instead of potato.
 
jacque greenleaf
pollinator
Posts: 488
Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We roast them with other winter roots. Good stuff. They're a nice addition to borscht as well.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
ok you've convinced me, now to order some diakon seed, will they grow in my zone 4 5 area??
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 8854
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
114
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
They should do great for you, Brenda, since they prefer cooler temperatures (but not too cold - mine were killed at around 15 degrees F).   
 
                              
Posts: 47
Location: Colorado, Zone 5, Cold Semi-arid
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've had the crazy notion to use daikon to excavate a small pond (or two ...).  If I grow a succession of various deep rooted veggies, harvesting, chop-n-dropping, then reseeding, I figure a pond is only a few years away.

I'll rake out the humus to spread over the yard, or build up the more public side of the pond, and plant that with useful screenings.  Thanks to Paul and Jack for confirming an idea about using the tiller to start the clay layer for the gley.
 
                      
Posts: 70
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't know much about the daikon radish, just what I have read here and some info I found on google; so please forgive my ignorance.

From what I understand they're used to bust clay pan soils, and as organic matter? I assume you do not harvest the radish if you're using it as a soil builder? I read a post somewhere that mentioned they may have trouble with really tough clay pan.....someone said their daikon started pushing up, instead of through the clay pan?

I would love to hear folks' experience using it as a clay buster.
 
John Polk
steward
Pie
Posts: 7768
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
240
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Correct.  You do not harvest the crop.  If they have fought their way down to 18", they have created some great holes in your subsoil.  If you leave them in to decompose, they will attract microbes to deeper layers, thereby establishing a richer subsoil.  Maybe next years crop will get to 24" since they will be more vibrant getting to the 18" level.

Be aware that this method will probably not work in urban/suburban areas, as they put out quite a stench as they rot.  Don't be surprised to see the local gas company roaming your neighborhood with meters, trying to find the gas leak that has been reported.
 
          
Posts: 16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Does anybody use these for chicken feed?
 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3352
Location: woodland, washington
75
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
in my limited experience, it's easy to eat some radish without ruining the soil enhancement.  while they grow deep, there's also a substantial portion that's above ground.  break off the radish at ground level to eat the top and leave the bottom to rot.  presto: good food and good dirt.
 
Rob Sigg
Posts: 715
Location: PA-Zone 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I agree with Tel, I used this technique, and if they are planted densely like Ludi did, they work wonderful in breaking up hard pan like clay. Im trying to do this in areas before I plant other things as a primer so to speak. They are too spicy for me, so I pickle them and they are very mild then and very flavorful.
 
Mekka Pakanohida
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here is a baby daikon growing well, this is 2nd generation growing here from heirloom seed stock.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us
 
gary reif
Posts: 75
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
i would like to plant the Dan in to enrich my clay, is there a special variety as most seed catalogs say they only get 8in long. I am in Wisconsin south of green bay, when should I seed so they don't die from frost, or does it need real cold to kill?
 
John Polk
steward
Pie
Posts: 7768
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
240
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The really long, good ones for breaking up hardpan breakup are called tillage radishes. Google them, and you should find some seed sources. They are not usually sold in small quantities, but you may find a distributor willing to help you.

The tillage radishes have been cultivated for size (18-24 inches), not edibility. Several tons/acre of rotting organic matter at that depth would be wonderful for any soil.
 
George Lee
Posts: 539
Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Gary - http://www.bountifulgardens.org/prodinfo.asp?number=VRA-5050

I've grown tons of daikon. I've used them in some of my clients edible landscapes. They have very nutritious tops that are rich in minerals. I juice them or put them in a shake each morning. Enjoy
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3646
Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
78
bee chicken fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think I'll try broadcasting some and then let the livestock graze the tops in late summer and let the daikons rot in place to improve the soil.
 
mosiah parkman
Posts: 6
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Brenda Groth wrote:has anyone eaten them? I know they use them to break up soils and let them rot, but what about eating them? are they mild, strong, ?


They taste great in curries and stews!

 
Anna Demb
Posts: 24
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I planted these from fedco, together with red clover and a few stray comfreys, to break up my hard clay fill (not really what you'd call soil) slope, which was covered with rough wood chips.
http://www.fedcoseeds.com/ogs/search.php?item=8181&listname=Radish
It's a daikon forage/cover crop radish. We weren't planning to eat them, but in oct. I noticed the beautiful lush greens, and since we hadn't planted anything else yet, we cut them and cooked them like any old greens. Delicious! and with a hoop house over them, we ate them into Dec through the Maine frost and snow.

The next spring, the wood chips had filled with mycelium, the clover was 3 or 4 ft high, and we could dig the soil and plant stuff!
 
George Lee
Posts: 539
Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Anna - they have remarkable amounts of calcium especially. Bon apetit!
 
Jeanine Gurley
pollinator
Posts: 1399
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
11
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I grow diakon radishes every year. I didn't know there was anything special about them. I keep intending to let them go to seed so that i don't have to buy seed the next year but then I end up eating them all.

I'll see if I have any out there to take a picture of on my next day off.

My other problem: I have been trying the Sepp technique as promoted by Paul - that is I take a bunch of different radishes, carrots, turnips and greens, mix them up and plant them where ever.

So most of the time I'm not sure exactly what it is when it comes to different types of radishes and some turnips. Some are sweet, some are hot, some are big and some are little - but they all taste good and I just mix all of the greens together for cooking, juicing and salads.

A local organic farmer friend once said to me "this is very pretty - but do you have a plan?". No, not really - the stuff just kind of grows everywhere. It's easier and I'm lazy that way. And now that I've been introduced to hugelkultur it's getting worse - or better.
 
Ken Peavey
steward
Posts: 2523
Location: FL
88
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've grown them in zone 5 and zone 8. The zone 5 soil was rich, produced roots as long as my arm. Zone 8 is sand and summer, still grew to an inch thick, straight as an arrow.
Makes a fine pickle.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
well here we get way cold..so they probably would not last the winter for sure, but I guess a summer crop would be possible..haven't gotten seed yet to try them though.

another good plant for building soil in the really cold areas is swiss chard, the roots go on forever and they will reseed and even sometimes come back in the fall from the roots
 
Steve Flanagan
gardener
Posts: 324
Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Is it too late to plant Daikon from seed in california, usda zone 9 during may?
 
Willy Kerlang
Posts: 106
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I could not find seeds in my area, so I ordered some online from a company that markets them as grow-your-own sprouts. I planted a whole whackload of them and still had a whackload left over, so I sprouted them in a jar in my kitchen and after three days they were ready to eat. Wow, were they good.
 
Sean Burkholder
Posts: 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We have an almost opposite problem on the land I'm involved with where there's been a fair amount of anaerobic activity beneath the surface and a high water table. My sense is that the daikon would soak up a lot of water and could push deep into the soft soil, and then by leaving enough roots in the soil to rot, begin the process of transforming it into more useable land, as well as giving me a few arm's length roots to eat. Any thoughts?
 
Jeffrey Hodgins
Posts: 166
Location: Yucatan Puebla Ontario BC
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There is the tillage radish thread also \a dicon radish I think.
title
Tillage radish and rooty plants in general. Carbon sink

To answer 1 question the tillage radish can be effective if planted as late as 6 weeks before a killing frost and they are supposed to die at about -6C. For use with corn they reccomend sowing 10 - 6 weeks before killing frost.
 
gary reif
Posts: 75
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Can I broadcast seed daikon in very late fall well after freezing for growing in spring? I m in Wisconsin
Thanks
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3646
Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
78
bee chicken fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think the info your looking for is in the post prior to yours.
 
Kate Muller
Posts: 165
Location: New Hampshire
9
bee chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here is a photo of Diakon Radish and buckwheat on our swale berm a couple of weeks after we planted it in mid May zone 5.





Here is what is it like looks like when it is starting to flower. This swale is 224 feet long.


I need to find a photo of it in full bloom. The pollinators loved the flowers. I couldn't bring myself to cut it down do to heavy use by the bees and other insects.

This is what it looks like now that it is going to seed.


 
Tim Nam
Posts: 74
Location: Arcata, CA zone 9b
2
forest garden solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just a couple points that ive learned from youtube,
1) though the tuber does much work for breaking compaction, the skinny tap root can grow even deeper still which improves water infiltration and brings up nutrients from deep down. Radishes are good nutrient scavengers.
2) brassica covers crops seem to have a nematodicidal effect by "fumigating" the soil as they decompose

I just broadcast some oilseed radish at the farm i work at, hoping for some serious plant tillage. Most of this was thrown into a rye straw mulch in a still ripening row of sweet corn, iow stay tuned for whether this actually works or not.
 
jimmy gallop
Pie
Posts: 193
Location: east and dfw texas
3
bee chicken forest garden hunting trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
They are very easy to grow and my chickens love them.
I love to eat them myself .
that's enough for me.
I grow them every year pretty much all year.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic