Everest (Chinese Lo Bok Radish/hybrid)
Latin Name: Raphanus sativus
Item #: 422D
CHINESE RADISH - Lo Bok Raphanus sativus
Both the Chinese and Japanese grow their large carrot shaped crisp radishes as a fall crop. The Chinese call them Lo Bok and the Japanese term is Daikon. There are almost a dozen different carrot-shaped types: long, extra-long, blunt ended, tapered, short blunt ended, round, in colors from pure white, to pink, purple pink and white bicolors and even black. The world's largest round radish, Sukarijima will grow to 40 lbs/18 kg in 70 days. The most popular shape is the long White Icicle or carrot-shaped type.
These are divided into 4 basic classes:
(a) Early Minowase (Japanese) - For late summer sowings and fall harvests. Mild sweet roots are very crisp, extra long, almost parallel sided, blunt ended at maturity. Bolts to seed easily if sown in the spring.
(b) All Season White - Fairly wide at the shoulders, like a chantenay carrot, this Chinese strain is medium in length and tapers to a point. It is a high yielding, slow-bolting type , with gray-green foliage. The top, portion of the root often pushes out of the soil, making it mildly pungent unless you keep it blanched or hilled up. Sown in late spring, summer or fall.
(c) Short Spring White - A Chinese strain with a touchon or sloping shoulder, shaped like a danvers carrot. It is medium in length, about the length of a normal danvers carrot. It thickens slightly in the middle and tapers off quicky to a point. Usually harvested early in the spring, 45 days from sowing. Tolerant to cool or hot temperatures. Upright leaves allow denser plantings. Tender tasty flesh.
(d) White Icicle - A short top, short tapered root, used in the West and the Orient.
CULTURE: Sow oriental radishes at the proper time according to variety type (see above). If in doubt, sow seeds 1/2 in/13 mm deep, only in late summer in rows 8 -10 in/ 20- 25 cm apart in loose soil (must be worked to a depth of 15 in/38 cm) Space seeds at 1 seed per in/25 mm. Thin to 3 in/6 cm apart. Seed requires 5 days at 40-70°F/4-21°C to germinate. Remember loose soil is important! Spread your weight with 2"x6" planks when cultivating, thinning or weeding between rows, or the excess weight will cause the soil to compact, resulting in twisted deformed radishes. Keep plants hilled up like potatoes (tops push out of the ground). Keep plants well watered. Do not leave roots in the soil too long after maturity has been reached (40-50 days) or they will become tough, pithy and sharp tasting!
COOKING: Most types may be served raw, or cooked with just a touch of sugar. All types may be picked, sliced thinly, marinated in rice wine and soy sauce with a bit of sugar. Tops are edible steamed, serve with butter. Seeds may be germinated and eaten in salads to provide a peppery taste. They will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.