This time of year is a transitional time in the garden. That means that we are waiting for the soil to warm up to plant summer vegetables. You can however still plant directly into the soil some seeds such as radish, beet root and carrots. These plants are called root vegetables and they like a friable or crumbly soil. They also do not like too much compost and these root crops are a great plant to follow a plant that is a gross or heavy feeder such as cauliflower or broccoli. Excessive compost when growing a root crop will cause stunted or split vegetables.
To grow the best root crop optimally double digging the soil is recommended. This does take a little more time but you will be well rewarded by growing hugely successful root crops. Double digging means you dig to the depth of the spade, remove this soil to the side and then dig down another spit or spade depth – so twice the depth. You then need to crumble to second spade full by hand. Once this is fine you crumble by hand the first spade full. Return all soil to its original place and then sow the seeds. Sprinkle the soil over the seeds and press gently. We press the seeds gently as the seeds initially grows roots before shoots and the firming of the soil allows the roots to grab the soil.