It is tempting to imagine when planting a row of your spring radishes that they’ll be ready and in perfect shape, wholly uniform in size & shape, and free from blemishes when harvest season roll in. if you’ve been a plant parent for a while, though, you know that this is not usually the case.
There are a wide array of common radish problems that can arise at any time, from a handful of garden pests to environmental garden pests. Most of these problems usually manifest through a lack of uniformity, bolting of the radishes, splitting, leaf holes, root nibbles, etc.
Today, we’ll expound on six reasons on “Why Are My Radishes Splitting“?
Why Are My Radishes Splitting?
Radish roots are susceptible to splitting if the soil you have planted them on is uneven and you’ve been inconsistence with your watering endeavors.
If you took your radish root through an extended period of dryness but then showered it with excessive amounts of water out of the blue, chances are it couldn’t handle all of that surprise moisture at once.
In addition to ruining your radishes and causing them to split, doing this is also quite harmful as it also damages the roots. Now onto the solution.
To make sure your radish roots do not split, you’ll need to keep the radish bed evenly moist and ensure you have a strict, set schedule for when you will be watering your crops.
If something happens and you find yourself unable to water your radishes for an extended period, do not shower it with an excessive amount of water the next chance you get.
Instead, start by giving it minute amounts of water and keep increasing the amount you’re feeding them slowly until you get back to your initial watering schedule.
How Long Have Your Radishes Been in The Ground
Another common reason radishes tend to split is they have stayed in the ground for far too long. With that in mind, ensure you stay mindful of the period your radish crops have spent growing and make sure you take them out at the right time.
In addition to causing splitting in your radishes, improperly irrigating your radishes also improves the chances of fungal or bacterial infections on your plant, which, in turn, can cause your radishes to split.
When you overwater your radishes out of nowhere after a period of drought, you rob them of their much-needed oxygen and nutrients supply, and that’s what creates the perfect environment for infections to set in.
Underwatering your radishes does pretty much the same thing. The fungus will tend to start forming if your radishes aren’t receiving sufficient nutrients or sufficient amounts of ventilation.
To keep your radish plants from splitting due to pests and diseases, ensure you keep them properly ventilated and regularly irrigated. The best way to ensure proper ventilation in your radish bed is to practice proper spacing, which will give each plant sufficient space to grow and thrive.
Also, repeatedly inspect your radishes to ensure no insects or pests build up on the plants. If you notice any fungus buildup, you’re recommended to use organic fungicide solutions to get rid of the unwanted fungus.
As you may already know, radishes are cool-season crops and can usually handle a certain amount of heat. That said, what about the cold? Are radishes capable of surviving in cold climates?
Actually, radishes can withstand hard frots as low as 26 degrees F. That said, surviving the temperatures doesn’t mean your radishes will be left in their best shape. Expect to notice some splitting as well. Thus, it’s essential to take precautionary steps and keep your cool-season radishes strong and healthy.
With all that in mind, to easily protect your radishes from the colder weather months and frost, all you ought to do is apply compost and mulch. Using these two elements on your radishes’ soil should sufficiently keep frosts away and regulate the temperature around your crops.
Better yet, mulch is beneficial to your radishes in the warmer months, just as it is in the colder months. More on this later.
Low Nutrients In the Soil
If the soil you’ve planted your radishes on lacks a sufficient amount of phosphorus, sugar can start building up, which can cause the much-dreaded splitting. This reason is quite straightforward, so we’ll jump to the possible solutions right away.
If you know what to do, fixing the phosphorus levels in the soil shouldn’t be an issue.
For starters, simply because you suspect your soil’s phosphorus levels are low doesn’t imply you should jump to conclusions right away. Do a soil test first and ascertain your suspicions. After all, the last thing you want to do is too much phosphorus in your soil.
After performing the soil test and ascertaining that phosphorus levels are indeed low, you can go ahead and invest in a product that can rectify the situation. This brings me to my next point.
Another reason that your radishes are splitting could be that you’ve used too much fertilizer on your plants. Excessive amounts of fertilizer usually result in salt buildups. Therefore, be mindful of the amount of fertilizer you’re feeding your radishes.
Are Your Radishes Planted On Dry Soil
Even after you’ve done everything right in regards to planting and caring for your radishes, dry soil can easily ruin everything and still cause splitting.
That’s because dry soil increases the chances of a big storm dumping a little too much water on your garden and shocking your radishes just as if you had overwatered them after a long period of drought (as noted in the first reason.)
If you notice that your soil is too dry and you cannot consistently keep up with watering schedules, consider putting down layers of compost or mulch over the ground around the radishes. You could also learn more about how to treat dry soil
Hopefully, you now have a better and deeper understanding of the most common factors that may be causing your radishes to split as well as several tips and tricks you can employ to fix them.
As a general rule of thumb, note that the roots of radish plants need to develop at a steady pace. Inconsistency is what will usually cause the radishes to split.