Friday, November 4, 2011

What Was I Thinking?

This is a tale of woe.  A lesson learned.  A big mistake.  "They" (who are these "they" anyway?) say the best lessons come from experience.  Well, I've just learned a big lesson!

My lesson comes from radishes.  Yes, those seemingly innocent vegetables that are a tasty and delightful addition to a salad.  And when radishes give you a lesson, it's not subtle!

I planted radishes this past spring.  They were quite productive.  But the timing was a bit off.  They ripened  well before the lettuce did, so I realized that I needed to actually read the dates that are listed on the back of the seed packages to coordinate the ripening of the lettuces and the radishes at the same time.

So, that was a little lesson, but not the big one!

You see, since my lettuces weren't ripe at the same time my radishes were, I left the radishes in the ground.  I wanted to learn how to gather seeds anyway, so I just let the radishes go.  And go they did!

They got quite large, grew tall stems and flowered.  I was so proud!  But, as those famous "they" say:  Pride goeth before a fall.  Or, according to Proverbs 16:18, Pride goeth before destruction.  Destruction!  That doesn't sound good!

Since the radish flowers were so attractive to the butterflies, I just let the radishes stay.  And stay.  And stay.

You can barely see the Checkered White in all the radish flowers!

Yes, I did get radish seeds.  But I got something else that I wasn't expecting!

When I planted this year's fall garden, I didn't plant any radishes.  But - and this is where the lesson started manifesting itself - radishes started coming up all over.  I mean ALL OVER!!!  Radishes where the lettuce was planted.  Radishes where the broccoli was planted.  Radishes where the cabbage was planted.  Radishes - well, you get the picture.  Radishes everywhere!

All radishes - none planted (by me, anyway!)

The radish plants that I let go to seed did just that.  They went to seed and seeded themselves all over my vegetable garden!  They are completely taking over!  I never dreamed I would have mutinous vegetables!

So, now I'm pulling radishes, eating them as fast as I can - raw, steamed, baked, microwaved, you name it - before they crowd out everything else in the garden.  And certainly before any of them go to seed again!  This is one mistake I don't want to repeat!


  1. Sometimes, I don't really learn from my mistake, but you seem pretty good to observe what was wrong. Have you ever eat radish dip in salt and butter? It's superb!

  2. Yikes ~ You should open your gardens and have a radish fest. Just kidding, but it would help you get rid of all those radishes you didn't plant. At least you are having a bountiful harvest.

    Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

  3. Wow I had no idea radishes could multiply like that! Sounds like you have a good sense of humor about it, though. :) This could be an opportunity to get really creative with radish recipes!

  4. Very cute post. Those veggies can certainly sneak up on you when you aren't looking. The best revenge is to eat them!

  5. Oh the joys of gardening.... I have never planted radishes --but my parents did. I love them on salads ---but a little goes a long way!!!! ha

    Had surgery on Tuesday --but am feeling better.... Glad to be back.

  6. Very funny--I would never think that could happen either.

  7. Dewi - I've never eaten radishes like that, but you can bet I'll be giving it a try!

    FlowerLady - Maybe I can go around putting sacks full of them in unsuspecting people's cars!

    Bumble Lush - I've already cooked radish lasagne! My imagination is about to give out! :)

    tina - haha You're right!

    Betsy - Sorry to hear about your surgery, but glad that you're feeling better! Take it easy and heal well. As for the radishes, yes, I agree that a little goes a long way.

    Carolyn - And to think I probably gave them a head start by adding that compost right before planting my fall garden, not knowing there were already (radish) seeds there!

  8. Oh...that's funny. I bet you are getting a bit tired of eating them by now. I love radishes and I didn't know they made such pretty blooms. Just think you could write a recipe book just about radishes, now. :)

  9. I guess it's the old adage: be careful what you wish for. Oh dear - are you going to be able to salvage the rest of the garden? Or are you faced with the same dilemma I have under the bird feeder - just give up and let it grow?

  10. At least radishes are easy to pull up! You can slice and pickle them in a sweet pickling solution and you can also slice and freeze them to add to winter soups and stews. I don't usually mind them self-seeding, they fight it out with the self-seeded rocket (Arugula), lettuces, garlic chives and chard. But this season I'm trying for a more formal, neater, smaller vegie patch, so I'll have to control them.

  11. Gone to seed defined!

  12. Oh dear! Maybe you can sell them at a farmer's market! Or swap them for someone else's produce?

    Lol good luck getting them all out!

  13. I had read somewhere that radishes are some of the easiest vegetables to grow. Now I understand why. I guess you have to like radishes to eat them all those different ways.

  14. Too funny. I have that problem with dill every spring in one garden. I never have to plant dill. It does it for its self. I love radishes on a sandwich with just butter and salt.

  15. Holley you actually just helped me. I have been trying to plant a second crop in late summer with no luck. I have tried early August as the pkg says but the weather was off and something ate the new leaves. I think I may take a risk and let a few go to seed to see what happens...we love radishes in my house so I won't mind f they go all over....

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  17. I think you are very bracve to try and eat or use all the radishes - I just don't like them that much, most would end up on my compost heap!

  18. Amy - They do make a pretty bloom. And the butterflies were all over them! Obviously, the butterflies pollinated the radishes well - they made a lot of seeds!

    Heather - So far the other vegetables are small, so if I pull them soon, I think the rest of the garden can be salvaged. At least I hope!

    Lyn - Thank you so much for that information! I think I'll pull them all and freeze them. That takes a lot of pressure off me to eat them all (I just hate to waste them).

    hundredsofideas - And defined very well!

    nowandgwen - The local farmers markets are closed now. But, I think I'll try Lyn's idea of freezing them!

    Marcia - They taste a bit like a turnip when cooked. Thankfully, they don't really taste like a raw radish. I'm not sure that spicy taste would go well with very much!

    wilderness - Never thought of putting them on a sandwich! And I'll try to remember not to plant dill!

    Donna - I hope yours seed the way mine did, since that's what you're wanting! Good luck.

    Gardening Blog - Don't worry - I have thought about the compost heap as a last resort!

  19. I like to time my radishes with my lettuce too but it seems I always forget. Have never had them go to seed though, who knew they were so prolific?

  20. I was ROTFL. What a great story and lesson.

  21. How wonderful! Enjoy your harvest, I wish my veggies would go wild...

  22. That's not so bad...but I know from experience, one can only eat so many radishes and then you start to hate them. LOL
    I'd give them away to friends as fast as possible. You'd be admired for your gardening prowess when in fact it was all a mistake. ha ha
    David/ :-)

  23. The radish flowers looked quite pretty. Suppose if you like radishes that's not a bad way to get loads. Won't they usually grow along with other plants without depleting the soil too much? Happy harvesting!

  24. Fantastic, some mistakes are just downright funny! I have a couple of packets of radishes lying in a cupboard, I forgot all about them, would you like them? alistair

  25. Funny! I can relate... I let lettuce go to seed this summer and now have bunches of lettuce seedlings. It's okay tho... I'm trimming for salads.

  26. Marguerite - I never thought about anything seeding themselves like that! Next year I will only let one or two radishes go to seed - not the entire row!

    GWGT - Yes, we have to laugh at our mistakes. Quite the opposite of my usual experience - something not growing!

    Masha - I just have to pull them so hopefully the vegetables I planned and planted for this bed have a chance to come up! One more thing on the to-do list!

    David - I guess I could just say I was an expert radish grower! Good idea!

    Kelli - The flowers were really pretty. One reason I didn't mind them. I just didn't know what the outcome would be! I don't mind them growing along - but they are crowding out the other veggies.

    Alistair - No, thanks. I have enough! :)

    charlie b - I think I would actually like bunches of lettuces coming up in the garden. They are a bit more palatable.

  27. GREAT garden adventure (though being up to your eyeballs in radishes does leave quite a visual image!!) You really have a way with words. I've always been too timid to start a vegetable garden; now I'm intimidated!

  28. Mutinous vegetables. That phrase had me laughing out loud. But it's also the wonder of gardening and it's a lesson that can make you smile (and hate radishes). As long as they weren't triffids or pods from outer space, no harm done.

  29. Shyrlene - Don't be intimidated! See how easy the seeds sprout? :)

    nittygrittydirtman - No, no harm done - and I've got extra food that I didn't count on (and some great new recipes for radishes)!


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