2018 Radish Variety Trial in Western North Carolina
The Southeastern Extension Vegetable Workers (SEVEW) is a group of extension horticulturists, entomologists, plant pathologists, weed scientists, and soil scientists from across the Southeast who write, publish, and edit the Southeastern U.S. Vegetable Crop Handbook. The group comes together every summer to discuss vegetable production, share experiences, problem solve, and update the handbook. In 2017, the horticulturists decided to start a series of regional vegetable trials. The plan is to trial a different vegetable each year in as many locations as the group can handle. We hope to get industry support in the future, but this first year we needed to demonstrate that we could make it happen and that it would be a valuable investment. So we chose radishes as our first test crop. Radishes don’t get much attention, but they are a consumer favorite, especially in direct market venues such as farmers’ markets.
Joe Kemble, Extension Specialist at Auburn University, graciously purchased seed of 16 varieties. Kiki Fontenot, Extension Specialist at Louisiana State University, coordinated the project. We had trial sites in 14 locations in eight states: Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
These are the varieties that were included in the trials and the seed companies they were purchased from:
|Cook’s Custom Blend||Burpee|
There will be a full report coming out covering all the sites, but I just wanted to share some of the information from the western North Carolina site that my employees, Leonora Stefanile and Gwen Casebeer, managed.
Located in the southern mountains of western North Carolina, in Mills River, our trial was probably one of the last to be planted and harvested. We prepared the planting area on March 8.
The seeds for each variety were carefully weighed out and labeled.
The trial was planted on March 20.
For the next month and a half, the plots were carefully tended and data were collected on emergence, insect and disease damage, and any unusual growth issues. The radishes grew quickly in the cool spring weather.
By late April the radishes showed evidence of bulbing up.
Harvests took place on May 1, 7, 15, and 25.
These were harvested from May 1 through May 7:
These later varieties were harvested from May 16 through May 25:
Yields: Please keep in mind that these are single plot yields from one location from one year. Clearly, some of these varieties were not well suited to early spring planting in the southern mountains of western North Carolina. They might do better in a fall planting or in another part of North Carolina. It will be interesting to see how our data compare with those of our colleagues in the other southern states.
|Plots were 15 square feet|
|Variety||Mkt Wt (lbs)||Mkt Count (No.)||Unmkt Wt (lbs)||Unmkt Count (No.)||Total Yield (lbs)||Stand Count (%)|
|Cook’s Custom Blend||0.7||21||0.4||21||1.1||87|