Your Questions Answered: Watermelon Radish

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

Question: I am in South Mississippi and my Mother wants to know where you get the pink watermelon radish seed and how she can get some? – Betty

Hi Betty,

Watermelon radish are a fairly unknown winter radish that are beginning to gain popularity. The seeds themselves aren’t particularly easy to find; however, the radishes have begun to show up in farmers’ markets. Look for them in the fall.

While chances are slim that you’ll be able to buy seeds at your local garden shop, they are readily available online. Search for them by one of their many names, including: Red Meat radish, Beauty Heart, Chinese Red Meat, Asian Red Meat, Watermelon radish, Rose Heart, Misato radish, Xin Li Mei (心里美), Shinrimei, or Roseheart.

I found my pack of seeds back in the spring at a local seed sale. The company I purchased them from, Greta’s Organic Gardens is Canadian and located in the Ottawa area. I’m pretty sure they ship to the U.S.

A few other online sellers include:

Back in the spring, I mentioned in an interview that I would be growing these radishes for the first time this year. What the interview doesn’t include is that ‘Watermelon’ is a large, winter radish that does not fair well in the spring. The best time to start them is in the late summer/early fall as the days grow cooler. There’s still lots of time to order seeds and get on growing a crop this year!

Oh, and if you’re wondering how to eat them, the flesh inside is deceptively sweet and tender. We eat them raw, just like a regular radish, but chop the harder skin off first. We also grate or slice it thinly on top of salads, and they also taste yummy pickled.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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11 thoughts on “Your Questions Answered: Watermelon Radish

  1. Ciao Gayla-

    This is good to know. Munchkin had originally planned on growing root veggies in one of his beds, but never got around to sowing seeds. Can daikon be sown at the same time as the watermelon radish, do you know?

  2. Yeah, I planted them in the spring and they did nothing. I’m going to try again in the late summer.

    I’m in Minneapolis and found them at every garden store I went to in the spring. I guess it just depends on your area.

  3. I tried to grow them last year but could not get them to germinate due too the poor weather and all the rain we had last year. The seeds where avalible at Canadian Tire garden center last year.
    Another weird one that i tried a few years ago
    that would not germinate was one called Strawberry
    Spinach. i found these at Wal-Mart.

  4. I planted watermelon radish seeds in my garden this last spring and they bolted. No radish but a really tall plant with a tiny long root. I’ll try again in the early fall.

  5. Gayla: I’m new to gardening and I am enjoying all of my “experiments” this summer. What else can we plant mid-season?

  6. I was at a seed exchange this spring and another gardener, knowing my preference for the unusual, was telling me about this type of radish. So excited to see a photo.

    I’ll have to be on the look out as I have not seen them as readily available in Chicago as Jaymi has in Minneapolis. Thanks for the alternative names Gayla!

  7. I tried this type of radish in the spring. Your post makes me feel a little better about none of them making it to the actual radish stage. I will give them another go this fall.

  8. I also tried growing watermelon radishes in the spring in our roof garden in Boston and none of them made it to be radishes. Nearby radishes of a different variety did quite well. I have some leftover seed and will try again in the Fall.

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