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Ep 55 | Starting from Seed: Root Vegetables

Welcome back to the Helpful Gardeners Podcast! This week, we ‘rooting’ around the subject of root vegetables! How do we start them from seed, maintain them, and harvest them!

Root Vegetables

Root vegetables are pretty general in their needs. They all grow underground, can be cold hardy, and can sometimes be grown multiple times in a growing season. For example, radishes can be grown in a pot due to their small size, and can be grown at least a couple times a year.
Starting From Seed
Start either inside or outside depending on your harvest goals. Some varieties, like radish, can be started at least a couple times in the season. You could even start radish, and some of the container varieties in a pot!
Companion Planting
No major requirements. Try mixing up onions to avoid root magot. Be aware of scab in the soil – see below.
General Requirements
Sun symbol" Emoji - Download for free – Iconduck     Full sun
Soil Generic Flat icon   Balanced good draining garden soil.
Fertilizer Basic Miscellany Lineal Color icon
Go light on fertilizer. A granular time release is good, or lightly fertilize with all purpose fertilizer, or organic as it has those lower numbers.
Water drop Detailed Rounded Lineal color icon     High production plants may require more water depending on growing conditions.
Gardening - Free farming and gardening icons     Consider having a frost blanket on hand for frost.

Common Bugs, Predators and Disease


Bugs are uncommon with root vegetables as most of garden pests, like aphids and spider mites, are opportunistic. They’re more likely to chow down on your tomatoes or peppers.


Who’s that icon cartoon bunny that always has a hankering for carrots? Well, the cartoon is real, and you’re going to need to watch for curious neighbourhood critters who will want to help themselves to your harvest of root vegetables. How do you remove the temptation for bunnies, squirrels, etc? Physical barriers and scent-based control products will help deter them.


Scab is a bacterial disease that can effect root vegetables, predominantly potatoes. It doesn’t impact development, but it will create lesions on the vegetable. Once you get scab in your soil, it can affect your future crops up to 5 years! If you have the space to crop rotate, that’s the best course of action. If you can’t, there are ‘scab resistant’ varieties of potatoes.

Scab is difficult to battle, but a lighter soil with more drainage can help.



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