Radish and Mustard Greens

I believe that I now have my perfect radish for greens.  Out of a selection of oriental radishes these produced nice radish greens.  Tender, smooth-leaf, juicy and tender, mild not hot but with the zip of the radish flavor.  The way I like them.  If the little red salad radishes that we buy at the store had smooth leaves instead of the fuzzy; even prickly leaves they do have, salad connoisseurs would have found out ages ago that the "greens" are better than the roots in salad.  Many people already have discovered that the young seed pods are even better than the roots are in salad.  The greens make fine salads alone or in combination with lettuce.  Add a little oil and vinegar and you have a great salad.  Some radishes used for greens in Asia have small woody roots but this one produces very large roots.

Radish greens

Radish greens

Giant radish roots

Giant radish roots

My leaf radish produces little white roots that grow into huge white roots.  This is only the tip of the iceberg.  The bulk of the root is below ground.  Evergreen Seeds (find on the internet) based in California specializes in offering seeds of oriental crops.  I grew my leaf radishes from seeds that I ordered several years ago and they have been crossing and segregating into variations ever since.  Most of their radishes are now hybrid kinds.  I don't know why.  Save the seeds anyway or if you aren't a seed saver, you ought to patronize the company since they are nice folks and provide good service.

Mustard Greens
 

I also grew these plants (above) recently from old seed I bought several years ago off the rack.  It was marketed as a leaf radish (Raphanus sativus) by Ferry Morse Health Smart line of seeds.  I seem to remember the cultivar "Vit".  While Hong Vit is a radish cultivar used for producing "baby greens"; the plants were we grew from the seed were mustards as in "mustard greens" (Brassica juncea);  possibly "mustard spinach" (Brassica perviridis).  I am still trying to figure what exactly they are.  They are pungent like mustards and cook up to mild "greens".  I'm not sure whether I would use them as salad greens;  maybe when young.  The plants mature to produce elongate leaves unlike my other mustards.  The nice thing about these plants is that they produced ample greens and still are in early December but they also throw flowers and seed stalks intermittently through their first year and so you can get a nice amount of seeds without the entire crop bolting.  A nice sustainable crop.

musroot.jpg

These are the mustards that grow all over my garden.   They reseed and produce large bright green hardy plants and plenty of cutting greens with a pungent mustard "kick".  They also produce large white roots which can be harvested and sliced to add mustard flavor to a salad.  I don't know what this mustard is since I don't have a lot of experience growing mustard greens.  I am a bit confused over the large white root which is tender and turnip like.  Of course, mustards, turnips and radishes are closely related and are in the Brassica Family.  What may be Ferry Morses radish is my mustard and maybe my mustard is another's turnip.  It's just so confusing.  Go to this site and maybe you can figure the Brassicas out...I will leave this to another day:   http://www.plantnames.unimelb.edu.au/Sorting/Brassica.html