Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:41 pm
Black radish tastes sharper and more aromatic than other varieties. You can grow it yourself – learn here what you need to pay attention to and how you can use the winter radish.
Also called winter radish, black radish is a particularly undemanding type of radish. It has a thick, usually dark brown or almost black skin – hence its name. Inside, however, the root vegetable is white.
You can use black radish both as a food and as a home remedy for coughs. Since it is quite easy to care for, you can also plant it as a beginner in vegetable gardening. In order for it to thrive in your garden, you should follow a few tips.
How to grow black radish
Plant black radish: Depending on the species, you sow black radish from mid-June to August. The exact time is best taken from the seed packet. Preferably buy organic seeds. Proceed as follows when sowing:
- First make furrows in the soil, in which you will later scatter the seeds. Keep a distance of at least 20 centimeters between the individual rows.
- Now scatter the seeds in the planting rows.
- Cover round seeds only very lightly with soil. If you have purchased a species with elongated seeds, you must sow the seeds about two centimeters deep.
Water the seed generously at the end.
The right location: Similar to white radish, black radish prefers a full sun to partial shade location.
The right soil: It’s best to plant black radish where the soil is nice and loose, deep and rich in humus. Mix some compost into the soil about a month before sowing.
Proper care for the black radish
Black radish is quite easy to care for. With a few tricks, you’ll soon be able to harvest your first tubers:
- Watering: Water regularly, because the black radish needs a lot of water, especially in the growth phase. Rainwater is best; you can collect rainwater for this purpose, for example.
- Weeding: Black radish grows relatively slowly. To ensure that it always gets enough sunlight and water, you should regularly loosen the soil and remove weeds.
- Fertilize: If you have fertilized the soil with compost before sowing, you do not need any further fertilizer. After a month you can mix some horn shavings or other organic fertilizer into the soil if needed.
- Harvest: Depending on the variety, you can harvest the first radishes after eight to thirteen weeks. It is important that you do not leave the black radish in the soil too long, otherwise it will become woody. First loosen the tubers with a digging fork before you pull it out of the ground.
How to use black radish
You can use black radish in different ways:
- In the kitchen: Similar to the white radish, black radish is especially popular as a raw food. Peeled and finely grated, you can eat it well as a radish salad or on a piece of bread. If you sprinkle it with salt, you soften its sharpness somewhat. You can also pickle black radish or cook it in vegetable soups. For example, in this recipe you can replace horseradish with black radish: Horseradish soup: simple recipe and delicious variations.
- As a medicinal plant: Black radish contains a lot of vitamin C, mustard oils, magnesium and potassium. These and some other ingredients make it very interesting for medicinal and folk medicine. For example, it is used there to relieve the symptoms of rheumatism, gout and respiratory diseases.
- As cough syrup: Black radish gets its typical pungency from the mustard oils it contains. These have an antibacterial effect and can help with irritable coughs, for example. Therefore, you can make an effective cough syrup from the tuber. You can find more tips against irritated cough here: Home remedies for irritating cough: These tips work quickly and safely.
Recipe for cough syrup from black radish
For the cough syrup from black radish you need:
- one black radish
- honey, sugar or rock candy
Here’s how you can use the quick version of the cough syrup:
- Cut the black radish in half with a sharp knife.
- Place both halves in front of you so that the white insides are facing up. If the halves wobble a bit, cut a small piece off the bottom of each – this will keep them standing.
- Take a teaspoon. Hollow out a hole in the middle of both halves, about five centimeters in size and one centimeter deep. You can eat the inside of the radish right away or use it for a dish.
- Place each half in a small bowl. Now put your sweetener in the hole.
- Let the bowls sit for a few hours until the sugar has drawn liquid from the black radish. Then you can spoon out the cough syrup and enjoy!
- Afterwards, enlarge the hole so you can continue to use the halves.
- When your Black Radish is sitting small and shriveled in the bowl, the sugar has pulled out all the liquid and it’s time to dispose of it.
Here’s how to prepare the cough syrup in a more elaborate way:
- First, cut the upper end of the black radish straight off with a sharp knife. The upper end must later act as a “lid”.
- Now hollow out the radish into a cone shape with a teaspoon or knife. Cut the inside of the radish into small pieces and set aside.
- Now poke a few holes in the bottom of the radish. It is best to use a skewer or a knitting needle. The cough syrup will later run through these holes.
- Fill the hollowed out radish halfway with honey and add the remaining radish pieces.
- Stir everything briefly and put the “lid” of the radish back on.
- Put the filled radish on a plate or in a glass and let it stand for a few hours.
- Pour the collected syrup into a clean jar and store it in the refrigerator.