Fall garden surprise!

Posted: November 10, 2017

   Just four weeks ago – in mid-September – I planted a variety of cool-weather seeds to see how far I could stretch the growing season. These seeds included sugar snap peas, beets, mizuna and arugula (both greens), plus carrots and some French breakfast radishes.
    Results are in already, and while it was the sugar snap peas that I thought might take off fast, it was the French breakfast radishes that actually produced the first crop.
    I had thinned the seedlings twice already, leaving plenty of “grow space” between shoots; those thinnings were great as salad sprouts so there was no waste at all.
    The first of the radishes were pink and white darlings, pinky-size, with bright green tops. The flavor was fresh and strong, and texture absolutely perfect: crunchy and without any flaws. All the wildlife in my yard left them well alone.
    The French apparently eat these delightful radishes with butter! I am going to try that, plus perhaps a little bit of sour cherry jam from Poland. A creamy sweet-tart treat any time of day.
    There’s probably time to plant a packet of French breakfast radishes this fall for good cool-weather eating. Plant again in early spring. And remember not to let radishes get too big and touch.
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Nan Chase

NC Garden Ambassador at Sow True Seed
Writer Nan K. Chase has written about topics as diverse as the history of Islam and the history of the mini-skirt, about beauty pageants and about nuclear energy. An award-winning investigative journalist, she has written for The New York Times, Washington Post, Air & Space, Southern Living, and many other publications. A long-time gardener, Nan lives in the mountains of western North Carolina.

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