If you’re looking for something a little different in your garden this year, give watermelon radishes a try. Sometimes mistaken for turnips, these very large radishes are actually an heirloom variety of the daikon radish. In their native China, these unique vegetables are called shin-ri-mei (“beauty in the heart”), with their innocent-looking pale green rinds giving way to a brilliant red center.

Fast Facts About Watermelon Radishes

Watermelon radishes are sweeter in flavor than traditional radishes. Traditional radishes sharpen in flavor as they grow larger, but these mild beauties actually sweeten over time. You can delay your harvest until the flavor is just right.

Shred or slice watermelon radishes raw for a colorful salad topping, or substitute them in cooked recipes calling for turnips or rutabagas, or preserve them by pickling. And don’t forget a few creative slices for garnish!

Like other varieties of radish, watermelon radishes are cool-season vegetables that thrive in early and mid spring. They’re easily grown from seed sown straight into the garden just before the last spring frost.

By choosing heirloom varieties of vegetables, not only are you preserving a piece of history, but you’re also playing an important role in maintaining much-needed diversity in the plant and food worlds.

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Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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