I'm a big fan of brassicas. Especially the Japanese and Chinese types. Most all common economically significant (meaning grown as food crops) brassicas are pretty much known for being pretty reliable cool weather crops. Many of them (like a host of leafy...non fruit bearing cultivars) don't do so well in the heat. Some varieties of things do better than others even within the same 'family', within the same system at any given time of year.
Here is an example of two types of Bok Choi... one doing real well (Joi Choi) despite the warmer temps and longer (finally) days, while the other (Mei Qing Choi...on the left) goes straight to bolting...
Luckily, I pretty much knew this to be the case from dirt gardening, so I planted much less of the Mei Qing at this time in the AP GH ...Here are the two in a DWC setting...even though the root zone temperature is somewhat lower than in the media beds...still, no dice with the Mei Qing Choi...Though notice the 'sea' of Joi Choi doing just fine, still in a veg state, behind the flowering and prone to be bitter-ish tasting Mei Qing below...
Knowing not only what to plant, and when, but what particular varieties to plant, in the season you hope to grow them in...could go a long ways in successfully rearing a particular crop to market... i.e. I'd have been totally fucked if I'd planted this cycles Bok Choi as Mei Quing instead of Joi.
Now, I believe as the weather gears on towards summer, that even the Joi Choi will become difficult to grow to full size heads without bolting being an issue. So I have a third even more heat tolerant variety already sprouted. Also, things like 'summer-fest' Komatsuna, or even Tatsoi might be more appropriate in the coming months (seedlings are doing well, so we'll see how those two fare in the heat of the early and mid-summer)...Neither are quite 'Bok Choi', but for a summer-time harvest of tasty Japanese brassicas, they're 'close enough for government work'
What's been working for you guys, in what set and setting?
Thanks for this topic Vlad.
I planted two lettuce, Winters Destiny and Oak Leaf outdoors in November. Both sprouted but Winters destiny sprouted sooner and came into full growth sooner Planting in November was probably too early. They both languished until the days became longer and warmer.
I also planted broccoli in November when the cold weather had already settled in. This was too late for broccoli. The heads were very small when they began to bolt, but I enjoy eating broccoli flowers and leaves. I love to snack on these while working in my garden, and they make a salad look very nice.
You mean that there's a COS romaine that doesn't get all 'leggy' from the heat..? Sounds great.
What a great thread. Not knowing what would do well or not, I decided to mix seed from three vastly different crucifers (chinese mustard, collard, and arugula) to broadcast sow while cycling. The mustards came up first and strongest, but they're getting hit by persistant aphids (the DE I'm applying isn't cutting it), and I also think they've drawn down the nitrates to where there's little left for the slower collards. Arugula was kind of a weak competitor--just a couple in what is otherwise a sea of aphid-y mustard. My chickens don't mind the aphids in their greens.
Although I planted lettuce and chicories (frastigliata and puntarelle) at the same time as the brassicas, they are remaining very small for the moment--either because of the low nutes or high pH (8.0). I need to get my fish to grow!
@Ben, those romaine in your pics look great :)
@Jeffrey, yeah, surprisingly my frastigliata is slow going as well. I guess I expected them to grow like wild fire since the seeds are so vigorous. I mean the darn things sprout like a couple hours after wetting them! But, it's taken a couple weeks now for them to move beyond cotyledons and finally get some true leaves going. I expect they should be hitting that 'growth spurt phase' now sometime soon... :)
Thus far, our favorite plant has been a fall pole bean, half runner type, called NT Half Runner. It's outstanding. We plant it in the ground.
The frastigliatas almost haven't grown at all in the last month. Everything else is doing dandy. I wonder what gives? I'm thinking that it's just the wrong time of year for them
The frastigliate I had were stunted, but when I dried out the grow bed during a hot spell (I drained it for the night and forgot to put the plug back in the next morning... and didn't notice until a day and a half later), well they didn't like that at all.
I don't know how well frastigliata is supposed to grow in my area, since I have not tried growing them in soil. Puntarelle, on the other hand, have grown nicely for me in soil, but I haven't gotten them off the ground in the growbeds yet. I still have lots of kinks to work out in my AP, though. I have yet to see anything spectacular growth-wise, and I have recently had to kill all my fish.
Have you received the hot pepper seeds yet?
Yeah, I've not ever grown it either...It's just kinda sitting there stunted as everything around it flourishes...go figure.
Nope, haven't gotten them yet (these guys around here put the 'S' in snail mail).
Not that I'm much better...your package is sitting here in front of me all ready to go...I'll probably make it into town on Monday to send it off. Sorry for bein' such a bum