How Do You Grow Daikon?
November 22, 2023
Daikon or white radish is one of the most widely used vegetables in Asian cuisine. In Japan, it is called ogon daikon and a large majority of Japanese households grow their own for home use. Outside Asia, daikon is also popular as it has a mild flavor and does not require much preparation. This makes it a good option for small-scale vegetable production. If you plan on growing your own daikon this season, here’s how.
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📌 Daikon Facts
Fast-growing radish, popular in Asian cuisines.
High in vitamin C, fiber, and potassium.
Can reach lengths up to 3 feet!
Sow seeds directly in well-draining soil, 2-3 inches apart.
Plant in spring or fall for best results.
Full sun with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight.
Keep soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.
Water deeply once or twice a week.
Avoid overhead watering to prevent disease.
Thrives in cool weather (50-65°F) and light frost.
Protect from extreme heat above 85°F.
Cold-hardy: can survive temperatures as low as 20°F.
Thin seedlings to prevent overcrowding.
Apply organic mulch to retain moisture and suppress weeds.
Fertilize with balanced organic fertilizer every 3-4 weeks.
Harvest when roots reach desired size (30-60 days).
Gently dig around the root with a fork and lift.
Store in a cool, dark place for up to several weeks.
🍽️ Culinary Uses
Add to stir-fries, pickling, salads, and soups.
Grate daikon as a side dish or ingredient in sushi rolls.
Enjoy its crisp texture and mild, slightly spicy flavor.
Start With Good Seeds
Daikon is a biennial vegetable, which means it is grown as a vegetable in the first year and as an annual in the second year. This means that the seeds must be planted in the spring, when they sprout. as with all seeds, start with the best. the seeds you choose for daikon should be the variety “大黒”, or “ogon”. these seeds are the most widely used in asia, and are of a good quality. choose good seeds with an even color and shape. they should also be free from any damage. next, you want to store your seeds in an airtight container. this will help ensure that the seeds stay viable, and do not go bad.
Choose A Warm, Sunny Spot
daikon is a cold tolerant vegetable, which means it can withstand temperatures as low as 4 degrees celsius. if you live in a warmer climate, this might not be a problem for you. if you live in a cooler region, on the other hand, you need to choose a spot that is warm enough for daikon to survive. this means a spot with temperatures ranging from 11 to 17 degrees celsius. if you have a sunny spot that is warm enough for daikon, that’s even better. a sunny spot is best as daikon likes a lot of sunlight. as daikon prefers full sun, it is a good idea to choose a spot that receives a lot of sun. it’s also a good idea to choose a spot that is away from trees as they can provide shade that daikon doesn’t like.
Dig A Trench And Line It With Plastic
daikon likes to grow in deep, well-drained soil. in order to make the soil suitable for daikon, you need to dig a trench that is about three times the height of the daikon. mix a generous amount of manure with the soil to increase its fertility. if you have a sunny spot, you may also find it helpful to line the trench with plastic. this not only keeps the soil from washing away, it also keeps it from getting too warm as the plastic reflects the sun’s heat.
Plant The Daikon Seedlings
daikon seedlings are very delicate, and are susceptible to damage from even the slightest breeze. to protect them from the wind, you need to bury the seedlings in the soil. you can either do this yourself or hire a gardener. if you’re digging your own trench, you can lay the daikon seedlings on top of the soil. cover the roots with soil, and then gently tamp down the soil with your foot to keep them secure.
Protect From Cold And Drying Winds
daikon loves full sun, and therefore needs a lot of heat to grow. if you live in a cold region, however, you’ll need to provide your daikon with a heated greenhouse. in order to protect your daikon from freezing temperatures, you need to construct a windbreak. a windbreak is a low fence that blocks the wind from blowing towards the vegetable plants. you can either build a low fence or wrap the whole area with a windbreak cover.
Harvest The Daikon Crop Regularly
like all stored vegetable crops, daikon must be harvested regularly. if you wait too long between harvests, the seeds will begin to sprout. this means that you will have to start over from the beginning. a good rule of thumb is to harvest your daikon once a week. this will ensure that the vegetable keeps fresh for as long as possible. you can either do this manually, or you can use a daikon harvester.
Dry The Daikon For Storage Or Grind For Use
once the daikon is harvested, it can be stored in a cool, dry place. if you want to store it for more than a few months, you need to remove the dark green leaves. in order to use the daikon in recipes, you need to remove its skin. this is a simple process that can be done either manually or with a food processor. once the daikon is ready, you can either grind it for use or dry it for storage. daikon can be ground into a fine powder by using a grinder or a food processor. daikon can also be dried using an oven or a dehydrator. the daikon needs to be covered with a paper towel so that it doesn’t get too hot.
1. When should I plant daikon seeds?
Daikon seeds should be planted in **spring or fall** when the temperature is **cool**.
2. How deep should I plant daikon seeds?
Plant daikon seeds **½ inch deep** in loose, well-draining soil.
3. How often should I water daikon plants?
Water daikon plants **regularly** to keep the soil **moist**, but not waterlogged.
4. How much sunlight do daikon plants need?
Daikon plants thrive in **full sun**, requiring at least **6 hours** of direct sunlight per day.
5. How do I thin daikon seedlings?
**Thin** daikon seedlings to **4-6 inches** apart to provide enough space for growth.
6. Do daikon plants require fertilization?
**Fertilize** daikon plants with a balanced **organic fertilizer** at planting and then again after 3-4 weeks.
7. How long does it take for daikon radishes to mature?
Daikon radishes usually **mature** within **45-60 days** after planting.
8. Can I grow daikon in containers?
Yes, daikon can be grown in **deep containers** with well-draining soil.
9. How do I know when daikon radishes are ready to harvest?
Harvest daikon radishes when they have **reached their desired size** and have a **firm texture**.
10. What can I do with harvested daikon radishes?
Enjoy daikon radishes fresh in **salads**, **pickled**, or cooked in various **Asian dishes**.
Daikon is a popular vegetable in Asian cuisine, and can be grown at home. This article will walk you through the process of growing daikon, from planting the seeds to harvesting the crop. Growing daikon is easy, and can be done with little effort. The key is to choose a warm, sunny spot, dig a trench, and line it with plastic. Finally, harvest the daikon crop regularly, dry it for storage, or grind it for use.