Hefty radish has Merv reminiscing

Merv Ellis, of Kapunda with his massive Daikon radish, held alongside a 1.25 litre bottle of soft drink to demonstrate its length.

When it comes to growing Japanese radishes, Mr Merv Ellis, of Kapunda certainly hasn’t lost his touch.

The octogenarian said his father, Albert once bought some seeds in Japan “many years ago” for their home vegetable patch.

“I planted them out and they grew up to 24 inches long, 11 inches in diameter and weighed seven and a half pounds,” recalled Merv. 

The year was 1970 and he remembers it well because he phoned The Leader to come out and take a photo of the whopper vegetable he had grown.

Merv Ellis in 1970 when he grew his last monster radish.​

“One year I let one radish go to seed to retain fresh seed, but after a few years the seed got too old and would not come up. 

“I called into Bartsch’s Nursery (Barossa Nursery) and Daniel sold me new seed called Daikon Japan.”

With fresh seed in hand once more, Merv started planting and 17 weeks later, he had a massive 16 inch (45 cm) long radish measuring 10 ½ inches in circumference (26 ½ cm) ready for harvest.

Again, he rang The Leader. After all, it’s been half a century since he last saw a radish of this magnitude in his garden.

“It weighed in at 6 pounds,” Merv said. “That’s 13 kilograms.

“I had to dig it up with a spade so it would not break as they are very brittle and snap like a carrot.”

Merv recalls reading about a Mr Len Fechner, of  Tanunda, and his “Super Radish” and still has the July 1, 1992 clipping in his keeping for interest sake.

Whilst he doesn’t think it is the exact same variety as the one he is now growing in his Kapunda backyard, Len’s was a whopper too.

“He certainly had a green thumb when it came to growing radishes,” said Merv.

“His weighed in at seven pounds.” 

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