Friday, 6 June 2008

One of life's big questions

In amongst the big questions of life and death and What It All Means that are inevitably hovering around Grillou at the moment comes this one: why can't we grow decent radishes?

It's not for want of trying. We couldn't grow them in Cley either, but growing anything at all - let alone organically - was a challenge there; our vegetable garden was on a flea beetle ridden, exposed site where the winds came howling straight across from Siberia (you could actually watch the soil eroding, for heaven's sake) and the ol' boys kept Growmore in business. Here, in spite of the truly pitiable weather that is France's excuse for spring this year, we've had great broad beans, cavalo nero and lettuces already; the red onions, Chantenay carrots and French beans are looking good, and even the 'ratatouille' bed is making progress. But the radishes? Pathetic.

I made them a bed; improved the soil (a bit, but not too much, just as they're supposed to like); mixed the earth with sand to lighten it; watered them (in the days Before It Rained, that is); talked to them; sang to them; tucked them up at night; thinned them; sent them cards on their birthday ... and still the little b***ers come out the size of aniseed balls and about as tough. I mean, even the flea beetles aren't interested ... Meanwhile all the books and magazines and gardening forums and blogs and probably the entire world raves on about how easy radishes are to grow and how even babies can do it.

Ever felt inadequate?


Unknown said...


That is quite bizarre. As you say they usually grow so easily. What variety did you sow? I've had good crops with 'Sparkler'. So have our kids :)

Keep sowing - might just be a time of year thing there. Tho if it gets mega hot they'll probably bolt straight away.

Kalba Meadows said...

Yes, bizarre it certainly is! There aren't many varieties I haven't tried, but when you can't even get decent radishes from a packet of '18 jours' it might just be time to hang up the trowel ... (I won't, of course. I'm a stubborn b***er and I hate being beaten!).