Bumper British radish crop the earliest for 10 years
2020 looks likely to be the best radish crop in a decade. It’s due to start on April 11th, almost a full two weeks ahead of its traditional start on St George’s Day.
The warm spring weather over the past 2 weeks has brought the start of the harvest forward. Scott Watson who farms radishes in Norfolk at G’s Fresh says, “Radishes are the first open field veg crop to be harvested. The sunshine and dry end to March has provided the perfect growing conditions for ours. The warm weather has had the added benefit that this year’s crop is growing a bit faster than normal going from seed to harvest in 25 days instead of the normal 28 days.”
Between April and November 2019, G’s Fresh harvested almost 8 million kilos or just over half a billion radishes. The 35.3 million packs meant that there were around 8 radishes for every single person in the country.
Scott says, “We’re looking forward to a bumper crop. With the current challenges getting enough workers to bring in spring asparagus and this summer’s harvests of crops like celery and lettuce, we are fortunate that radishes are harvested almost entirely by machine. In the past we have also hand harvested a million radishes for the wholesale markets, however, this is unlikely to happen this year because, at 30 seconds a bunch, it takes about 8,300 worker hours.”
He continues, “The timing of the season is also especially fortunate this year. As it is becoming harder to bring produce up from our farms in Spain due to the different restrictions in force, we lucky that the warm weather has brought the UK season forward. If the warm weather continues into the summer we can expect some good heat in the crop. The hotter the weather, the more peppery the radish.”