REPOSTED with permission from Dr. David S Shields, Univ. of South Carolina.

They grow quickly. Their crisp bracing taste makes your mouth wake up. The first vegetable garden I grew with my wife taught me that the first gratifications of the Spring were radishes and garden peas. That was in Poughkeepsie NY. Here in the South you can grow three crops of radishes in a year. Beaufort SC became the radish capital of the country for a decade before growers decided lettuce brought more money in. Was there a distinct “southern radish”?

Sort of–a heat tolerant long scarlet radish was created by the glass house market gardeners in Covington KY for the Cincinnati market. The look, disease resistance, flavor, and size of this variety inspired imitation across the South. The Hastings Seed Co. of Georgia sold its own version. The Long Scarlet did well in the Atlantic flood plain too.

Hastings Early Long Radish

Though everyone is enamored with the Chinese Watermelon radish now, or is reviving the old French Breakfast radish, little fuss has been made about the region’s own excellent variety. Fortunately it survives and is sold by Sustainable Seed. Their strain descends from the original Cincinnati market radish.

Cincinnati Market Radish

Good with butter and salt or straight in a salad.