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Vegetable Gardening: How to Grow Mooli or White radish

Written by Nicola Wallis

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Posted on 9 May 2022

What is Mooli?

Mooli is a radish also known as white radish, daikon or Oriental radish which is popular in China and Japan. The word daikon means “great root” in Japanese. They have an appearance similar to fresh horseradish and can grow over a foot

long and are the exotic oriental sister of the normal radish.
Mooli have a crispy and crunchy texture similar to other radish and have a mild turnip or peppery flavour. They are delicious cooked or raw and boast a multitude of health benefits. They are thought to aid digestion and are particularly effective in aiding the digestion of fatty foods.

Is mooli easy to grow?

This exotic radish is super easy-to-grow in any well-prepared soil and you can also grow Mooli in containers.

Although radishes do not generally transplant well, they can be grown from seed in Rootrainers which means that they have a strong root system which enables them to be transplanted successfully into seed bed or container. When planting out from Rootrainers simply make a hole with a dibber and place the plug into the hole, firm in around the roots and water well. The advantages of growing radishes (or any vegetable) in a container enables you to control disease, pests, moisture, and other conditions more easily than planting in the ground.

When can Mooli be sown?

If you want to grow Mooli, the seeds can be sown directly from late June through to August.  Any earlier means you run the risk of it bolting. They can also be grown later in the year and are hardy over the winter months.

How is Mooli sowed?

Mooli requires a well-prepared seed bed in full sun which is kept moist and is free-draining. The seeds should be sown thinly and at a depth of 1cm and 30cm apart.

When the Mooli is large enough to handle, thin out the seedlings within each row to 10cm apart. In order to do their best, Mooli need regular watering.  But do be careful not to over water them.

Mooli have a deep root which enables them to drill down through heavy clay type soils and compacted layers, which sometimes means they’re referred to as tillage radish. The deep root improves soil quality by increasing soil aeration and water infiltration so they are a great crop if you have hard to work clay soil.

Can you eat Mooli foliage/tops?

Mooli produces an impressive amount of foliage growth which suppresses weed growth. These leaves are edible, crunchy and have a hot peppery flavour.

 

How long does Mooli take to grow?

It is usually ready 8 weeks after sowing and will stand in the ground for a few weeks before it needs to be harvested. Apparently, they taste best when they are left to grow about the size of a carrot.

Are Mooli susceptible to pests or other problems?

Slugs and flea beetles can attack the root which can make them look less than appetising on the plate. Try companion planting and grow radishes with mint to deter flea beetles. Alternatively, Mooli can be planted under an Easy Tunnel for extra protection from pest, diseases and frost.

Good luck if you decide to grow Mooli, do tag us on social media to show us your results!

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