My back yard lacks a bit of sunshine so things don't grow as fast, but they do grow.

I've recently planted radishes for the first time and they have already started pushing out of the ground, however they are not very large, maybe half the diameter of shop bought radishes.

The leaves are still growing healthily, but the tops of the radishes are getting nibbled at by something so I need to make a decision.

Should I:

  • Pull them up and eat them at the size they are?
  • Cover them with a bit more dirt and give them some time to grow larger?
  • Cover them with mulch to stop them being eaten?

I'm an impatient gardener and worry that they will get spoiled by being eaten by whatever has been taste testing them if I leave them the way they are, or they will rot if I leave them in the ground too long.

  • Do you know what variety you planted? Was it an early variety (Spring, Summer, about 25 to 30 days to harvest) or a Winter variety (about 50 to 60 days to harvest)?
    – Mike Perry
    Sep 27, 2011 at 23:23
  • @MikePerry - A spring variety, I'm in the southern hemisphere
    – going
    Sep 27, 2011 at 23:28
  • 2
    If the root is nearing 25mm (1inch) in diameter they are more than likely ready for harvesting. Take one out & try it. Radishes don't keep well in the ground ie They should be removed as soon as they're ready for harvesting. For a continuous supply of radishes it's recommended to sow every 14 days or so...
    – Mike Perry
    Sep 27, 2011 at 23:34
  • Also just for your info, early varieties are normally smaller in size than Winter varieties... If this & the above info proves helpful/useful, please let me know, I'll then take the time to write up an answer...
    – Mike Perry
    Sep 27, 2011 at 23:36
  • 1
    by "cover" i think you mean earthing up, rather than using netting or barrier protection which was my first reading of your question, is that right? Sep 28, 2011 at 12:17

1 Answer 1


Does the "nibbling" look like little worm tunnels? I often get this on my spring radishes.

The only way I know to deal with it is to harvest them a bit small (3/4-1") before they all get nibbled. I've seen it on the bottoms of the radishes, so I don't think earthing up will help you at all.

If it has been the 25-30 days (or whatever it says for time to maturity on your seed packet), you definitely want to harvest. If you let them go too long, the texture gets bad and they don't taste very good. (And the worms or whatever is causing the holes will spoil the roots.)

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