Radish Farming in India with Process and Various Varieties
Radishes are a popular vegetable in both tropical and temperate regions. Being a fast-growing crop, you can cultivate this plant as a companion crop or as an intercrop between rows of other vegetables. You can also plant radish on ridges, separating one plot from another. Apart from this, you can cultivate it all over India, especially near city markets. Radish probably originated in China. However, it seems to have been cultivated in India since ancient times. It was renowned among the ancient Greeks and Egyptians.
The radish’s botanical name is “Raphanus sativus”. The grown edible roots are fusiform and vary in colour from white to red. Radishes have two distinct genetic groups. The Asian varieties, mainly for tropical climates, provide edible roots in the 1st season and seed in the 2nd season as a biennial crop. On the contrary, exotic or European varieties take root in plains of tropical and sub-tropical climates and produce seeds in hills of temperate climates.
Improved Varieties of Radish
A large number of introduced varieties are cultivated in different regions of India. Native varieties are usually white with a conical shape and are said to be more pungent than the introduced European types. European types are not very popular and common in India. Important characteristics of some of the recommended varieties are given below:
1. Pusa Reshmi
The roots are 30–45 cm long, with a whitish-green above. It is suitable for early sowing during winter, but it can tolerate slightly higher temperatures. Well sized roots are ready for harvesting in about 55 to 60 days.
2. Pusa Desi
It is a tropical and sub-tropical variety suitable for growing in northern plains from mid-August to October. Roots are pure white, 30-35 cm long, thin, sharp, and heavy with green stems. It matures in 50-55 days after sowing.
3. Arka Nishant
This variety has been grown at IIHR, Bangalore and It matures in 45-55 days. Roots has medium-size, marble white, crisp texture, pleasant aroma, free from early bolting, splitting and forking. Each root weighs about 300-400 grams. It is pungent and produces about 200-300 quintals of fresh radish per hectare.
Climatic Condition for Growing Radish
Radishes are generally a cool climate crop, but Asian varieties can resist more heat than European or other temperate varieties. It attains the best taste, texture and shape at 10 to 15 °C. Long days, as well as high temperatures, lead to bolting without adequate root formation. During hot weather, the root becomes tough and pungent before reaching an edible size and, therefore, you must harvest the crop young and small. Radishes are more pungent at higher temperatures. The sharpness decreases with colder temperatures.
Soil Requirement for Radish Plantation
Radishes thrive in any type of well-drained and loose soil. First, loosen the soil to a 6-8 inches depth and make it more suitable for growing radishes. Next, add a layer of farm compost (FMY) or garden compost to enrich it with organic matter. The PH range of soil is 6.0 – 7.5 are favourable for radish farming.
When you prepare the soil, you should be well-known for some core factors, such as which equipment you should use in radish farming. However, tractors play the main role because they should have the best capacity to mount the attachment. However, you should choose the latest tractor that meets your requirements and fits your budget.
Land Preparation for Radish Plantation
Farmers should plough the soil to a depth of 30-40 cm to provide fine tilth. The soil for radishes is well prepared so that there are no lumps to interfere with root development. The soil should not contain any decomposed organic matter as this can result in stunted or misplaced roots. Normally the first ploughing, about 30 cm deep, is done with an earth-turning plough and the remaining 5-10 ploughings are done with indigenous ploughs. You should do the Planking after each ploughing. Farmers should use fertilizer (FMY) at the time of first ploughing.
Soil Sterilization for Growing Radish
Farmers can do soil sterilization through both physical and chemical methods. Physical control measures include treatment with steam and solar energy. Chemical control methods include treatment with fumigants and herbicides. You can also achieve soil sterilization by using a transparent plastic mulch film called soil solarization. During soil solarisation, the incoming solar radiation penetrates the transparent plastic film and is absorbed into the soil. The absorbed radiation is converted into heat energy, raising soil temperature and killing many soil-borne organisms, including pests and plant pathogens.
Best Sowing time of Radish
Since radish is a cool-season root vegetable, you can cultivate it during the winter season on the plains. You can sow it any time between September and January in the northern plains as it is neither affecting by frost nor extreme cold weather conditions. Farmers grow it in the hills from March to August. In areas where summers are mild, you can grow it throughout the year except for a few summer months. In Bangalore, radish roots are available for 8-10 months of the year, but the best edible roots are available only during November-December. Temperate types are usually not planted until October.
Along with the relevant information on radish farming, you should also consider the tractor that will help to improve the yield. Cultivators, tillers and tractors are crucial factors in radish farming. However, you can choose the mini tractor while working on a small farm.
For further information regarding radish farming in India, stay tuned with us.