Thursday, May 7, 2009

It's splitsville for me and the radishes

The one thing I successfully grew last year was the radish. The big Sparkler White Tip radish to be exact. The one thing that made me think I had enough hidden gardening skills to keep up this pathetic gardening gig was that row of perfect little red round radishes I pulled out of the ground last year. So of course I've been touting myself as the Radish Queen to all my non-gardening friends who don't know that an ape should be able to successfully grow radishes. I even shared my radish and apple salad recipe with them to further prove what a radish connoisseur I am.

This time my radishes have been bombing along at full speed and looking grand. Then the vacation happened upon us. The day we were slated to leave I decided to have a last-minute check around the garden. I was poking around for evil-doing bugs and making sure that the sprinkler was hooked up and pointing the right way and that the timer was set.

I peered down at the radishes and thought "Damn, those look ready - like really, really ready."

I pulled one out. Perfect.

I checked my watch. We had to pack the car and leave… what to do…what to do? If I pull them all out, I can't get them cleaned up and packed up in time to take with us. And even if I did, what would I do with a bag full of radishes on vacation? We certainly weren't planning on buying lots of salad bits to go with radishes. I didn't think they'd do well in the fridge for 10 days so I decided to leave them in the ground, figuring that they'd be okay when we got home.

Oh how wrong I was. How very, very wrong.

I pulled them out of the ground the day we got home. I expected one or two to have cracked from a big gut, but I didn't expect almost all of them to be split. I tossed them into a big bowl of water on the patio with the intention of letting them sit for about 5 minutes and then separating the radishes from the greens and soil for the compost bin.

Fast forward to this morning. I stumbled out on the patio to let the dog out after a very sleepless night thanks to a 3-year-old with an overactive imagination and a series of bad dreams and banchee-like screaming fits. I got to the screen door and instead of the dog bolting past me to get outside, I hear "slup, slup, slup, slup." I turn around to see the dog gulping water out of the container full of radishes. GAH!

I had forgotten about the radishes! And what was that smell? That horrible rotten smell? That would be the bucket o' radishes. Apparently they'd been sucking up water all night, which in some insane chemical reaction causes the leaves to turn to mush, the radishes to go all puffy and squishy and the water to smell worse than a port-a-potty at a high school football game.

Not one little radish was saved. This is why my blog isn't called "Gardening With Skills." I felt like such a dope and have abdicated the Radish Queen throne. I do have some leftover seeds that I'm going to plant later this week with the hopes that I can make it to the position of Radish Duchess before the summer is over.


Erin said...

I can only hope my dog eats them...I grow them every year because they are touted to be the "instant gratification" vegetable, but for as much as I WANT to, I don't like them! I have tried 3 varieties so no avail. I remember eating them at my grandma's house when I was a child, but I can't stand them now! I am keeping my fingers crossed for a new variety I am trying that will be ready any day, I so want to be able to enjoy them! This is the reason I don't grow collards. Even though our area is known for collards, yuck! :) Plant some more and you are not allowed to use buckets of water this time!

Unknown said...

That sucks! Hope your next seed sowing radish day reaps a great for a Queen!

Sandra said...

I guess one of the best things about radishes is the speed with which they grow. Better luck with the next crop.

Kathryn said...

First of all, thank you for your comment - always enjoy your blog! And am still jealous over the chickens!! I agree with previous commenters, plant more. They grow fast. The shingles attack is pretty much over for now - although I'm told they can come back anytime. Such a nice thing to look forward to - not! Take care . . . wasn't the weather just perfect for your vacation? Could sure use some rain though. K (aka Mad Beach Maven)

Jeff Vandiver said...

Oh yeah...those radishes will bust open in no time. I don't like them, but grew some earlier this year.

Ribbit said...

I'm crying for you. I always count on my radishes. It's the only thing I think I can be sucessful with.

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