The Radish Test
In spring the 3rd grade made the garden program several handsome, recycled-wood boxes as part of the children's woodwork rotation. These are seed flat boxes and we use them to start seeds in large quantities. The boxes range in depth from 3-4 inches.
The children and I did a test toward the end of school where we planted radishes in the boxes to see if we could harvest a successful root crop in the relatively shallow containers. We tried three kinds of radishes: Scarlet Globe, Munchen Bier, and Chinese Red Meat.
Scarlet Globe was the clear winner.
We inspected the box where the two losing radishes were planted and discovered the soil area filled with horizontal root packs. The roots hadn't been able to go deep enough in the box, and the result was a poorly grown, small and woody radish. The Scarlet Globes grew just as their package described and didn't create any of this extra, horizontal root mass.
It's better to grow radishes in-ground, but at least we know we can get Scarlet Globe radishes from the flat boxes when needed.