About the crop
Radish is a cool season vegetable, cultivated for its edible napiform taproots.
It is a crop with very short duration and many varieties attain maturity within
30 days after planting. Hence the crop is highly suitable for growing in the high
ranges of Kerala during winter season.
Climate & Soil
Cabbage grows well on a wide range of soils from light sand to heavier clays, but
well drained sandy loam to clay loam soils are ideal for its best growth.
The optimum soil pH should be in the range 6.0–6.5. Good drainage is important,
and soils that become waterlogged after heavy rain or irrigation are unsuitable.
Propagation & Planting
Japanese White, Arka Nishanth, Pusa Chetki, Pusa Reshmi, Pusa Desi and Bombay Red
Radish can be grown in high ranges from June to January. Seed rate is 7 to 8 kg
per hectare. The land should be thoroughly ploughed to facilitate proper root development.
Incorporate well decomposed FYM @15-20 t/ha at the time of land preparation. Application
of fresh undecomposed FYM should be avoided as it leads to forking of the fleshy
roots. Radish is usually grown on ridges to facilitate good root production. Ridges
of about 20 cm height are taken 45 cm apart and seeds are sown 10 cm apart on the
rows. The seed is mixed with fine sand and sown in rows by hand, and covered with
soil to make it firm around it.
Uproot excess seedlings (thinning) three weeks after sowing leaving a plant to plant
spacing of 10 cm to facilitate better tuber growth.
Apply 20 t/ha FYM as basal. N: P2O5: K2O 75:37.5:37.5
kg/ha is the fertilizer requirement. Full dose of P2O5 and
K2O and half dose of N are applied as basal. Remaining half dose of nitrogen
is applied as topdressing when the plant starts growing vigorously.
Adequate soil moisture should be available for uniform seed germination and growth
of plant. The first irrigation is given immediately after sowing. Depending upon
the planting season and the available soil moisture, radish may be irrigated at
10-12 days interval during winter and 5-6 days interval during summer.
Intercultural operations like weeding and hoeing are necessary to check weed growth
and provide soil aeration for better growth and yield. During rainy season, two
weedings are required to keep the growth of weeds under check.
Aphids (Myzus persicae )
The nymphs and adults suck the cell sap and devitalize plants. Affected parts become
discolored and malformed.
Control: Spraying malathion (0.1%) at 10-15 days interval control pest population.
Mustard sawfly (Athalia proxima)
A serious pest of radish, which feeds on the leaves by making small holes. The pest
attack is observed in the vegetative and flowering stage of the crop.
Control: Hand picking of larvae and spraying malathion 50 EC @ 1ml/litre twice at
an interval of 10 days is recommended.
Alternaria blight (Alternaria
Small, yellowish, lesions appear on leaves, stems and seed pods. The affected pod
becomes black and shriveled, and infected seed fails to germinate.
Control: Regular spraying with dithane M 45 (0.2%) or ridomil (0.1%) controls the
White rust (Albugo candida)
Flowering shoots get deformed and bear only malformed flowers. White powdery substance
in patches is observed on the under surface of the leaves.
Control: Clean cultivation and use of resistant varieties help to prevent the disease.
Regular spraying with dithane Z 78 (0.2%) effectively controls the disease.
Root rot of radish (Erwinia rhapontici)
Symptoms appear as rotting of pith tissues resulting in cavity formation and wilting
of plants. It is a bacterial disease, which spreads through implements and irrigation
Control: Dipping of the seeds in a solution of agrimycin-100 (100 ppm) at the time
of sowing is effective in checking the disease.
Radish mosaic virus (RMV)
Small, circular to irregular, chlorotic lesion appear on the leaves and the stem.
Leaf distortion, stunting or abnormal formation are not observed. The disease is
transmitted through aphids.
The diseased plant assumes a dull grey to light violet colouration. The symptoms
of the disease appear at the time of flowering when all the floral parts become
green violet and leafy. The sepals and petals become green thick knob headed leaves.
The disease is transmitted by jassids.
The radish crop becomes ready for harvesting in about 50-65 days depending on the
variety. At the time of harvest, the roots should not be pithy or solid. Crop is
harvested manually by uprooting individual plant. A light irrigation may be given
a day before harvesting to facilitate lifting of roots. The average yield varies