Famously called the oriental radish, Mooli of South Asian regions is actually called Daikon, a variety of Radish (Raphanus Sativus) with whiter, longer and conical root. This winter variety of Radish is eaten widely in South and East Asian region and is quite famous for its mild flavor and speedy growth of the leaves that are also edible.
Daikon Radish has white root and green leaves and is traditionally referred to as Mooli in India. This winter radish is fairly easy to grow and a grand addition to any garden as they turn ready for harvesting the same year giving you another veggie for your kitchen. Here is everything that your maali should know about growing the delicious desi Mooli:
The when, where and how of growing your own Mooli during Indian winter
Since Daikon or the Indian Mooli is a winter radish, you’ll need to follow a specific cycle of seasons to ensure a healthy harvest. Cooler temperature is obviously favored and it doesn’t take more than a couple of months to get matured. Thus, planting them when the summer is about to end is the best suitable time for planting. Some part of northern India faces drastic snowfall at the start of November so planting is recommended during later August itself. But if you don’t face frost or snowfall during the winter then growing in late September will also yield results.
As long as the weather is frost-free, you won’t have any trouble growing the Mooli but ensuring that the temperatures stay lower than 80 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended.
If you are planting the Mooli in your garden or lawn then pick a place that gets complete exposure to the sun and the soil should be deep but loose but not wobbly. You can use mature compost to add nutrition to the soil but remove all rocks and till the soil before you begin planting.
Planting and harvesting the Mooli
Mooli seeds should be planted almost an inch deep into the soil and few inches apart in rows. If you are looking for a successive crop, you can even sow new seeds with every ending week but ensure there is sufficient distance (few feet) between the rows. The key to growing the perfect Indian winter Mooli is through balanced watering since it needs moist soil but never so much that your roots rot. Harvesting should be done around 60-70 days after sowing the seeds.
Tips for growing Mooli for new and DIY gardeners
• Radish roots may face competition from club root, weeds, caterpillars, etc so the wedding is something that you will need to do religiously. Pest control for keeping caterpillars and club root out will surely help.
• Too much water may rot your roots so stop when you find your roots sitting in water and ensure proper drainage so the collected water doesn’t rot your seeds or roots.
• Stick to fertilizers that have no more than a quarter of nitrogen.
When acquiring seeds and supplies for your radish cultivation, you can pick from a variety of available types of Mooli as growing them involves the same process.