Growing up, I never liked radishes. Probably because the only time I saw them was in the salad bar at an all-you-can-eat buffet. It wasn’t until I grew up and started my own garden did I begin to appreciate these spicy little roots.
Now, I absolutely love them sliced up on a bed of fresh greens and drizzled with homemade Italian dressing.
Once I started harvesting them, I learned quickly that fresh radishes are bad about getting really rubbery if you leave them out at room temperature for more than a day.
After a little experimentation, I learned a couple of ways to store fresh radishes to keep them crisp until you’re ready to use them.
How to Harvest Radishes to Keep Them Fresh
There are a few simple hacks you can follow when harvesting your radishes that will keep them fresher for longer, too.
For instance, when you harvest, make sure you pull the radishes after a few days of prolonged dry weather. Too much moisture can cause the roots to rot
If you wait until dry weather, you’ll also give the root hairs time to dry out and settle into a state of dormancy. This can add a few days on to the shelf life of the tubers.
How to Store Fresh Radishes
If you have a root cellar, a basement, or even a hole dug in a shady part of your yard, you can store radish roots in slightly moist sand for several weeks after picking. Just make sure they’re protected from weather and varmints.
As long as your location has temperatures between 34 and 42 degrees and high humidity of 90 to 95 percent, you’ll be totally fine storing them in this way.
Just fill a wooden crate with some damp sand, then spread the roots between them.
Try not to let the roots touch, which will reduce the likelihood of rot. Check them every few weeks, but know that, when stored this way, radishes can last up to three months.
It works best for large varieties of radishes, like daikon radishes, and fall/winter cultivars of radishes. These tend to have thicker skin and are more resilient when it comes to spoiling.
You’ll want to chop the greens off the top so that they don’t continue sapping nutrients out of the roots. You can get an idea of what I’m talking about by reading the post I wrote on root cellaring carrots in a crawl space – it’s the same concept.
When you chop the greens, don’t toss them in the trash! Radish greens taste delicious when added to a salad or when cooked either sautéed or braised.
Just add a bit of salt, pepper, and garlic. Yum! They last for a few days to a week in the refrigerator, too.
You can also store radishes in the fridge for several weeks. There are several ways you can do this.
One is to store the radish roots in water. Just fill a shallow bowl with an inch of water, then set the plants in it.
Leave the radishes at room temperature like this, and the radishes and their greens will stay fresh and crisp for several days.
Put the bowl in the fridge, and they’ll stay fresh for up to eight days before the greens start to wilt!
You can also stash the radishes in a canning jar. Just make sure the radishes are trimmed of their tops and then fill the canning jar with water all the way to the top.
The simplest way to store fresh radishes is to put them in baggies.
Chop the greens off the tops, wash and dry the radish roots, and put them in a ziploc bag with a slightly damp paper towel. Use a straw to suck the air out of the bag to vacuum seal it.
This will keep your fresh radishes crisp and ready to eat for at least 8 weeks (in my experience). No need to add moisture to the towel, just leave it as it is.
Leaving Radishes in the Ground
Don’t want to harvest your fresh radishes? You don’t have to make room in the fridge if you aren’t ready to pull them yet! In many cases, you can store fall-grown radishes in the ground.
Simply plant a late crop of radishes about thirty days before the first expected frost. As soon as the weather gets cold, your roots will stop growing. You can cover the radishes with a layer of straw, about four inches thick.
As long as your ground doesn’t freeze, you can harvest the radishes when you’re ready to eat them.
If you do get a frost, consider installing a double floating row cover or erect a cold frame over your plants.
You’ll be able to enjoy fresh radishes even if you experience a harsh frost and a heavy freeze in late autumn. Your cold frame should be sloped and facing south at a 45 degree angle for the best results.
Do you have a different way to store fresh radishes? I’d love to know what you’ve found to work best for you!
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.