While spring radishes (like White Hailstone, Purple Plum, and Cherry Belle) go from seed to harvest in a span of four weeks or less, winter radishes take twice as long to mature, from eight to ten weeks.
They’re sowed in late summer or early autumn and grow to size before winter sets in — ideal for winter storage, hence their name.
In warm winter climates, you can even keep them going all season by succession sowing into spring. Because they grow over a long period, similar to turnips, they offer a greater harvest and are much more versatile in the kitchen.
Texture- and flavor-wise, winter radish greens are similar to Swiss chard, tender and mild. You can start picking a small handful of leaves from each plant just a few weeks after it sprouts (and before it matures) without affecting growth.
Compared to winter types, spring radishes seem to come and go in the blink of an eye. They grow so fast that they can be planted between rows of other crops, then picked before they’re shaded by their neighbors.